Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 718 No. 3

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  221.  Deputy Lucinda Creighton  Information on Lucinda Creighton  Zoom on Lucinda Creighton   asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food  Information on Brendan Smith  Zoom on Brendan Smith   the recommendations contained in the report of the special group on public service numbers and expenditure programmes that 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. [36978/10]

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Deputy Brendan Smith): Information on Brendan Smith  Zoom on Brendan Smith  The following is the information requested

Report recommendation Annual saving identified in Report Progress to date, saving achieved
€m
1 Transfer export promotion function of An Bord Bia and BIM to Enterprise Ireland; transfer BIM’s other functions to DAFF and consider same for An Bord Bia 7.3 Partially implemented; BIM marketing functions transferred to An Bord Bia.COFORD integrated into DAFF.
2 Reduce Teagasc staff numbers and rationalise offices 30.0 On-going staff reductions and office rationalisation under way. Grant-in-Aid reduced from €127.3m in 2009 to €119.9m in 2009 and €114.1m in 2010.
3 Transfer agricultural research funding to new single funding stream for all research 14.0 Not implemented; while R+D funding will be centralised following Government decision announced in the 2010 Budget, the Department’s R+D funding has not been included in the new arrangement. No saving is envisaged as funding is required to meet existing commitments.
4 Terminate Suckler Cow Scheme 44.0 The payment rate was reduced from €80 to €40 per eligible animal in the 2009 Budget in October 2008 resulting in an annual saving of approx €32m.
5 Increase disease levies 5.0 Not implemented
6 Review the operation of the TB and Brucellosis Eradication Scheme 9.0 The recommendation to reduce compensation to 75% was not proceeded with due to loss of EU co-funding (€4.5m) and cost of insurance to farmers.
7 Efficiencies/reform in Inspection procedures, including disease eradication. 2.0 Reduction of €1m in travel and subsistence costs has been achieved in disease eradication as a result of new procedures.
8 Review admin costs in food safety, animal health, plant health, etc. with view to reducing costs by 10% 15.0 See comment item 14
9 Staff reductions food safety, etc.. 8.3 See comment item 14
10 Close REPS 4 and no rollover of participants from REPS 2,3 into REPS 4 80.0 Implemented; REPS 4 was closed with effect from 9 July 2009. Savings of about €80m p.a. are achieved based on 13,000 new applicants p.a. The savings are offset by the cost of the new Agri-environment Options Scheme which was introduced in March 2010.
11 Staffing reductions, rural development/agri-environment, etc. 7.5 See comment item 14
12 Reduce annual expenditure on LFAs by 30% 66.0 Expenditure previously reduced by 14% (€35m p.a.) in 2009 Budget in October 2008
13 Rationalise the Departmental local office network 7.0 Being implemented; the rationalisation of the local office network is well advanced following Government decision and announcement in July 2009. Current structure of 48 local offices (DVO, AES, and Forestry offices) will be reduced to 16. Total savings are estimated at €30m p.a. and reduction in staff numbers of 400 on completion of the rationalisation programme.
14 Reduce staff numbers and implement efficiency savings 10.0 Expenditure on Salaries, Wages and Allowances has reduced from €233m in 2008 to €226.2m in 2009 and an allocation of €197m in 2010. In the same period, expenditure on travel and subsistence was reduced from €15.2m to €9.77m to €9.72m.


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