264. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the cost in 2016, 2017, 2018 and the projected cost for 2019 of the deal agreed in November 2016 in respect of pay policy for certain members of An Garda Síochána; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7910/19]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The recommendation of the Labour Court in relation to Garda pay did not come into effect until 1 January 2017, and therefore there were no cost implications for 2016.
For 2017, the cost of the Labour Court recommendation was met through a combination of additional exchequer funding and funding from within the existing budgetary allocation for the Justice Vote Group.
The impact of the Labour Court recommendation on individual members of the GRA and AGSI was to provide extra remuneration of around €4,000 on average each year through:
- an increase in the value of the rent allowance by €500 bringing it to €4,655 per annum with effect from 1 January 2017;
- the integration of the rent allowance in the new amount of €4,655 into salary with consequential increases in unsocial hours and overtime payments also with effect from 1 January 2017;
- the introduction of a €15 premium payment per annual leave day to compensate for the uncertainty attaching to the taking of leave by Gardaí. This payment is worth in the region of €500 on average;
- the implementation of a long-standing recommendation of the Garda Inspectorate through the introduction of paid 15 minute pre-tour briefing or tasking sessions with effect from 1 January 2017.
Under the Labour Court recommendation, new recruits also had the Rent Allowance restored, and the increment freeze which had been in place for GRA members was lifted.
The nature of the recommendation was such that the cost of the implementation of the proposals depends on a number of factors including the overall number of Gardaí, the average basic salary of Garda members, the amount of overtime worked in any year, and the implementation of pay restoration measures under the Public Sector Stability Agreement. That said, my Department estimates that the Labour Court recommendation costs in the region of €60-65 million per annum.
The Deputy will be aware the gross cost of implementing the 2016 Labour Court recommendation is offset by statutory deductions for tax, PRSI, etc., which reduces the net Exchequer cost.