Dáil debates

Thursday, 10 March 2022

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions

Departmental Expenditure

9:00 am

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I will respond to the question that was put in writing. On an annual basis, the overall defence Vote group allocation is determined within the overarching budgetary framework and the approval of Dáil Éireann, having regard to the level of resources available to defence policy requirements. Thus, for 2022, the total gross allocation provided to the defence Vote group, as set out in budget 2022, was €1.107 billion, comprising €836 million for Vote 36, which is defence, and €271 million for Vote 35, which is pensions.

Capital funding allocations are also framed by the multi-annual national development plan. The White Paper on Defence, updated in 2019, highlighted the importance of capability development and the necessity for continued renewal, upgrade and acquisition of military equipment and infrastructure. To this end, the national development plan, NDP, has allocated multi-annual funding of €566 million to Defence out to 2025, with an allocation of €141 million per annum provided for 2022 and 2023 and €142 million per annum for 2024 and 2025.

Many of the military equipment projects are complex, multi-annual and have long lead-in times, so the funding certainty now provided by the NDP is welcome, as it will enable the Department and the Defence Forces to plan, prioritise and deliver on scheduled projects over the coming years.

I know what the Deputy wants me to get to rather than giving a long, drawn-out, factual answer, namely, whether we are likely to increase spending on defence on the basis of what is happening in Ukraine right now and the serious questions of security issues on the continent of Europe and, of course in parallel with that, the report that we got from the commission. I think we are likely to increase defence expenditure on the back of the commission report, primarily. Some of that will be military equipment such as ammunition and weaponry but it will also be upgrading standards within our barracks and improving training facilities, armour and so on.


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