305. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the estimated full year cost of employing ten new front-line gardaí. [23257/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): There has been an unprecedented level of investment in An Garda Síochána in recent years. The budgetary allocation to An Garda Síochána for 2019 amounts to €1.76 billion, which includes provision for sustained recruitment to An Garda Síochána this year. The Garda Commissioner has informed me that he intends to recruit 600 trainee Gardaí in 2019 and it is positive that the number of sworn Garda members is now in excess of 14,000, with 200 more Gardaí having attested on 7 June. An Garda Síochána remains on track to reach the target of 15,000 sworn Garda members by 2021.
Very significant capital investment is also being made, including investment of €342 million in Garda ICT infrastructure between 2016 and 2021; and investment of €46 million in the Garda Fleet over the same period. This continuing investment in people and capital supports the Government’s commitment to ensuring a strong and visible police presence throughout the country to maintain and strengthen community engagement, provide reassurance to citizens and deter crime.
In accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána and for the allocation of Garda resources, in light of identified operational demands. As Minister, I have no direct role in these matters.
I am informed by the Garda authorities that the estimated full year cost of employing 10 newly attested Gardaí is €441,316. This estimate includes the basic salary (at the first point on the Garda pay scale), fixed allowances, an estimate of variable allowances (which newly attested Gardaí may qualify for depending on their assignments) and employer’s PRSI.
This estimate does not include any payments made to trainee Gardaí while attending the Garda training college for 32 weeks, nor does it include the impact of any pay increases (including the 1.75% pay rise scheduled for 1 September 2019).