Statement by the Minister with responsibility for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe, T.D., on Defence Budget 2020
- Total allocation of €1.04bn; an increase in Defence spending of €32.3m on 2019
- Capital investment budget increased to €113m; delivering new armoured vehicles which will increase force protection measures for those serving overseas, new aircraft, naval vessel refits, training facilities and upgrades to military facilities including accommodation.
- €10m extra in funding for the area of pensions to meet the retirement benefits of 12,640 ex-Defence Forces members and certain dependents.
Minister Paul Kehoe today welcomed the significant allocation of over one billion Euro in Defence Sector funding for 2020. This represents an increase of €32.3 million over the 2019 allocation and will allow Defence to continue to deliver on the commitments in the White Paper.
Minister Kehoe stated: “This allocation of over €1 billion emphasises the importance attached by this Government to ensuring that the Defence Forces have the resources necessary to deliver on all roles assigned by Government, both at home and overseas.”
Minister Kehoe identified ensuring adequate funding for pay and allowances as a priority. He welcomed the increase of over €15 million in the Defence Vote to provide for outstanding Public Service Stability Agreement 2018-2020 commitments as well as increases in Permanent Defence Force allowances arising from the Public Service Pay Commission’s (PSPC) report on recruitment and retention issues in the Defence Forces and implementation of the initial measures set out in the Government’s associated implementation plan.
Minister Kehoe commented:
“A key priority of mine is that we continue to invest heavily in our Defence Force personnel.
I value the commitment and contribution of Army, Air Corps and Naval Service personnel in the execution of their assigned roles and I particularly welcome the increase of over €15 million for pay and allowances in Budget 2020, including provision for measures arising from the Public Service Pay Commission Report on recruitment and retention issues in the Defence Forces”.
The White Paper on Defence identified a requirement for capital expenditure investment on replacement defensive equipment programmes and on upgrading the Defence Forces Built Infrastructure.
The Defence capital provision will facilitate significant in Defence Forces Built Infrastructure projects.
This allocation will allow investment in projects that modernise and enhance the training, operational and accommodation facilities available to members of the Defence Forces in military installations and barracks across the country.
In that regard, Minister Kehoe welcomed the additional €7 million in capital funding allocated to the Defence Vote in 2020, and stated: “the increase in capital funding to €113million for 2020 will allow Defence to continue its programme of sustained equipment replacement and infrastructural development, as identified and prioritised in the Defence White Paper.”
Minister Kehoe concluded by emphasising that the Defence Vote continues to be fully funded for the target strength of 9,500 as he added: “The Government remains committed to returning to and maintaining the strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 and I have ensured that the Defence Vote is fully funded to meet the costs for the full target strength.”