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Defence | Budget implementation timeframe for Defence Forces

To ask the Minister for Defence the timeframe for the implementation of the recent budgetary announcement in respect of the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


For 2023, the total allocation for the Defence Vote Group is €1.174 billion, comprising €893 million for Vote 36 – Defence, and €281 million for Vote 35 – Army Pensions, which is an overall increase of €67 million on 2022.

The increase of €67 million is made up of an additional €35 million in respect of capital expenditure for the Defence Vote, €22 million in respect of current expenditure for the Defence Vote and €10 million for the Army Pensions Vote.

The Defence capital allocation has increased by €35 million, to €176 million, a 25% increase on 2022. This funding will be used for investment in defensive equipment programmes and on upgrading and modernising the Defence Forces built infrastructure. These projects will be advanced and developed throughout 2023 in line with internal capital planning frameworks.

The allocation for current expenditure in the Defence Vote has increased by €22 million to €717 million, made of up €175 million to meet standing and operational costs and €542 million for the ongoing pay and allowances of the Defence Forces, civilian employees and departmental civil servants, including the costs associated with the existing Building Momentum pay deal.

This allocation also includes funding to facilitate implementation of a number of key recommendations of the commission, such as specific enhancements to pay and allowances and the recruitment of the Head of Transformation and Strategic HR roles in the Defence Forces, as outlined in the high-level action plan. The implementation of these recommendations will be advanced as soon as agreement is reached with all the relevant stakeholders and the appropriate administrative arrangements put in place.

The allocation for Vote 35 – Army Pensions – has increased by €10 million to €281 million and will meet the pensions costs for more than 13,000 ex-members of the Defence Forces and their dependants.

The funding allocated in budget 2023 will enable the Defence Forces to deliver effectively on all its key domestic and international responsibilities, to enhance our national and international security capability, and to facilitate progression on the structural and cultural transformation as recommended by the Commission on the Defence Forces.

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