285. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the budget allocation to the Garda air support unit in each of the years 2016 to 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5434/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): There has been unprecedented investment in An Garda Síochána in recent years, in support of the Government’s commitment to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country in order to maintain and strengthen community engagement and provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime.
An allocation of €1.76 billion has been provided by Government to An Garda Síochána for 2019. This represents an increase of over 6% over the initial allocation for 2018.
As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling generally the administration and business of An Garda Síochána as well as for decisions in relation to the allocation and management of Garda resources, in light of his identified operational demand. As Minister, I have no direct role in these matters.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that expenditure for the Garda Air Support Unit from 2016 to 2018 is outlined in the following table.
Finally, I understand that expenditure for the Garda Air Support Unit amounted to €203,693 in January 2019. I am informed by the Garda authorities that it is envisaged the budget allocated to the Garda Air Support Unit for 2019 will be in line with previous years.