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Statement by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence
Mr. Alan Shatter, T.D., on Defence Budget 2013

Minister Shatter expressed his confidence in the capacity of the Defence Forces to deliver on the roles assigned by Government throughout 2013. Minister Shatter stated: I am satisfied that the Defence Forces will continue to deliver on the roles assigned by Government in 2013. Major re-organisation and reform is being delivered in order to protect operational capability to the maximum extent in response to the significant reduction in the resources available for Defence over recent years. This has posed many challenges for military personnel. It is noteworthy that the Defence Forces have continued to deliver on all fronts and this is a tribute to the personnel involved.”

The gross allocation for Defence and Army Pensions in 2013 combined at €892m, is the expenditure ceiling arising from the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure. The reduction in the allocation for Defence was frontloaded in the current period of retrenchment in public expenditure. The overall gross current spending allocation (Defence and Army Pensions) has reduced from €1049 m in 2008 to €892m in 2013, a reduction of €157m (15%). The capital allocation has reduced by €21m (70%) in the same period.

In 2013, the priority will remain on maintaining the capability to operate at home and overseas. As part of the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure, the Government agreed to stabilise the strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel and this is reflected in the allocation announced today. Reform and re-organisation will remain central to the response to the restriction in resources available. Defence will continue active engagement in the reform agenda, specifically through the Integrated Reform Delivery Plan, facilitated by the Croke Park Agreement.

A major re-organisation of the Defence Forces from three to two Brigades has been underway since July 2012 and was substantially completed by 30 November 2012. Most recently, new organisational structures for the Reserve Defence Force were announced, and implementation of these new structures will continue in 2013. During 2013, the procurement of military equipment will prioritise that which is required to support operational capacity. The significant costs of procuring two new Naval Service vessels, scheduled for delivery in 2014 and 2015 is also being met from within the Vote 36(Defence) allocation, without recourse to additional funding.

These measures will ensure that the Defence Forces can continue to deliver required operational outputs for all approved Aid to the Civil Power and approved Aid to the Civil Authority requests. The Defence Force will also continue to meet Government requirements for overseas peace support operations.

Defence policy will continue to be responsive to any emergent changes in the domestic and international peace and security environment. A new White Paper on Defence, which will set out the Defence policy framework for the next decade, will be published at the end of 2013. As part of the development of the new White Paper, a broad consultative process will be initiated and informed by the publication of a Green Paper on Defence in early 2013. In relation to the EU Common Security and Defence Policy, the Department and Defence Forces will fully contribute to EU presidency commitments in the first half of 2013.

The Army Pensions Vote of €215m, which is demand-led, makes provision for retired pay, pensions, allowances and gratuities payable to or in respect of members of the Defence Forces. Currently, there are some 12,000 pensioners of all categories paid by the Department of Defence.


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The gross allocation for Defence and Army Pensions in 2013 combined (excluding capital carryover) is €892m, which is a reduction of €1m on the 2012 allocation. Defence (current) spending at €677m is €2m below the 2012 Estimate. The provision for Army Pensions for 2013 is €215m, an increase of €1m on the 2012 estimate.



Defence and Army Pensions
Gross Expenditure
2012 Estimate
2013 Budget Allocation
Difference
(Army Pensions and Defence)
€m
€m
€m
- Current
893
892
1
- Capital
9
9
0
- Total
902
901
1


Capital
The proposed 2013 capital allocation of €9m remains unchanged from the 2012 REV allocation and will be mainly expended on building and maintenance works relating to Defence Forces’ accommodation.

5 December 2012





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