353. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the estimated cost of 50,100 and 200 Garda recruits in each of the years 2019 to 2022; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31303/19]
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 is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána, including by arranging for the recruitment and training of personnel. Further, the allocation of Garda resources and distribution of personnel are a matter for the Commissioner, in light of identified operational demands.
I am pleased to say that recruitment of Garda members and staff is ongoing. Since the beginning of 2017, just under 500 new Garda staff posts have been sanctioned by the Policing Authority with the consent of my Department and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. The Government provided funding in Budget 2019 to sustain continued recruitment into An Garda Síochána and, as part of this recruitment, the Commissioner decided to recruit a net 600 Garda Staff this year, which will facilitate the ongoing programme of civilianisation in An Garda Síochána and allow for redeployment of approximately 500 experienced Gardaí to frontline policing duties by the end of this year. This fully reflects the Governments’ continuing support for the Commissioner in reaching the target of 4,000 Garda staff by 2021.
From information provided to me by the Garda authorities, I understand that the current estimated full year cost of employing 50 newly attested Gardaí is €2,206,580; the current cost of employing 100 newly attested Gardaí is €4,413,160, and the current cost of employing 200 newly attested Gardaí is €8,826,320. This estimate includes 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 this year (including the 1.75% pay rise scheduled for 1 September 2019) or in the years to 2022 as referred to by the Deputy.