Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 718 No. 3

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  128.  Deputy Lucinda Creighton  Information on Lucinda Creighton  Zoom on Lucinda Creighton   asked the Minister for Justice and Law Reform which recommendations contained in  Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern   the McCarthy report pertain to his Department; the detail of each and proposed savings relating to his Department; which of these have been implemented to date and the expected savings to be achieved on each of these in one calendar year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36977/10]

Minister for Justice and Law Reform (Deputy Dermot Ahern): Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  There were a number of recommendations in the Special Group Report (McCarthy) which referred to the Justice Sector, across nine different programme areas. In all these recommendations identified €134.5m in potential savings; €84m of which related to staffing and payroll costs, €16.3m to operational efficiencies, €14.6m related to structural reform and rationalisation and a further €21.5m referred to other expenditure and funding reductions.

A number of the measures in the report have been implemented at this stage in order to achieve reductions in the Departments Estimates for 2010. These relate to the programmes in a range of subheads which include Gender Mainstreaming, Graffiti Removal Operations, Equality Monitoring Consultative Committees, European Refugee Fund and Refugee Integration. The McCarthy Report recommended a total reduction of some €5 million in respect of these particular items. The actual budgetary reduction was €6.92 million. I should add that some of these areas are under the responsibility of the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs since June, this year.

A significant proportion of the recommendations (€84 million) related to reductions in payroll costs on items such as allowances payable to members of the Garda Síochána and the Prisons Service.

In common with all Departments, there are significant reductions in payroll related provisions in 2010 to take account of the reductions in payroll rates and other factors. The overall reduction in gross payroll budgets for the Justice Sector compared with the 2009 estimate is in the region of €126 million.

A number of recommendations were made by the McCarthy Group on structural reform and rationalisation across the Justice and Equality Sector. Decisions in respect of a number of these recommendations will be a matter for decision by Government in due course. In other [707]cases progress is being made on measures such as the reduction of staffing in the Children’s Detention Schools under the ambit of the Irish Youth Justice Service. Any expenditure reductions arising will be reflected in the budget for the Sector in future years as appropriate. A number of the recommendations in this context refer to the Equality, Disability, Integration and Human Rights areas, which are now the responsibility of the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs.

While it was never the intention that the full €134 million reduction recommended in the McCarthy report would be delivered in 2010, significant progress in this regard has been made. This is through a combination of the recommendations in the report and other measures being taken as part of the Governments budgetary policy.

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