Written answers

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Departmental Funding

Photo of James LawlessJames Lawless (Kildare North, Fianna Fail)
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103. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the estimate allocation for Defence in 2022; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56409/21]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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The total gross allocation provided to the Defence Sector in Budget 2022 is €1,107 million, comprising of €836 million for Vote 36 (Defence) and €271 million for Vote 35 (Army Pensions). This allocation represents an overall increase of €35 million on 2021 and ensures that sufficient funding is available to the Defence Organisation to carry out all its assigned roles, both at home and overseas and to deliver on White Paper commitments.

The Defence Vote provides for pay and non-pay current expenditure of some €695 million. The pay allocation of €545 million provides for the pay and allowances of over 10,400 public service employees within the Defence Sector, including a Permanent Defence Force of up to 9,500, along with civil servants and civilian employees employed by my Department. The non-pay allocation of €150 million provides for expenditure on essential and ongoing Defence Forces standing and operational costs including utilities, fuel, catering, maintenance, information technology and training.

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 capital allocation of €141 million provided for 2022 will facilitate the ongoing programme of equipment replacement and infrastructural development, as set out in the Defence Equipment Development Plan and the Defence Forces Built Infrastructure Programme.

Civil Defence and the Irish Red Cross Society will also receive funding from the Defence Vote in 2022.

The 2022 allocation for Vote 35 (Army Pensions) is some €271 million, an increase of €8 million on 2021. This allocation ensures that sufficient funding is available to meet the retirement benefits of some 12,750 former members of the Defence Forces and certain dependants.

I welcome the outcome of Budget 2022 and the significant funding envelope of over one billion euro provided to the Defence Sector which will enable the Defence Organisation to continue implementing its organisational priorities into 2022. The Commission on the Defence Forces is due to report by the end of this year and will make recommendations which will inform decisions regarding the future development of the Defence Forces. I look forward to receiving the report.

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