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Afloat.ie: Coiste an Asgard is Scrapped in Budget Cuts

9th December 2009
Afloat.ie: Coiste an Asgard is Scrapped in Budget Cuts

Coiste an Asgard the state body responsible for Sail Training in Ireland has been abolished as part of this afternoon's budget cuts. Confirmation of its termination was posted on the Department of Finance website here. The move effectively brings to an end the 30-year old national sailing programme following the loss of Asgard II off the coast of France just over a year ago. There is no reference to the closure on the Asgard website this afternoon although the likelihood of the shutdown was signalled this summer in the McCarthy Report. Reaction here.

Statement by the Minister for Defence, Mr. Willie O’Dea TD on Defence Budget 2010

 

“The Department of Defence and the Defence Forces, like all areas of the public service, will contribute towards resolving the current challenges facing the country.  The Defence organisation will be required to operate on a reduced budget for 2010.

 

Apart from the payroll and related adjustments to take account of the pay reductions announced today, the 2010 combined gross allocation for Defence and Army Pensions is just over €1billion (€1001m) an overall reduction of 3.8 % on the 2009 allocation. Defence spending at €792m (including capital spending) will be down by €34m (4%) on the 2009 Estimate.

 

Within the available resources, I am committed to maintaining the strength of the Defence Forces at a level of 10,000 all ranks, for which I have secured Government approval in the context of Budget 2010. 

 

The investment in improved equipment and training made over the past few years means that the Defence Forces are in a healthy state both in terms of personnel and equipment to meet the challenges that lie ahead.   They have improved in every respect since 2000 and comprehensive reform of structure and human resources, together with major investment in infrastructure and equipment, has been achieved during the past ten years.”

 

“While some cost reducing measures proposed in the McCarthy Report will be introduced, I have decided not to accept the suggestion that the Army Equitation School be closed. It is an important and emblematic feature of the Defence Forces and I believe it should continue its good work representing the Defence Forces and Ireland”.

 

No new cost-increasing current expenditure measures are being introduced. 

The key current expenditure reductions will be delivered as follows:

 

Payroll savings of some €14m arising from reduced Defence Forces and civilian numbers and lower levels of paid training for the Reserve Defence Force.

Reductions in the numbers of personnel serving in Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina will achieve savings of up to €7m in 2010. These missions are expected to transition to smaller numbers overall during 2010.

The Government is committed to retaining our presence in the UN mission in Chad (MINURCAT).

Reduced Naval Service patrol days and Air Corps flying hours will be optimised, delivering savings of €2.2m.

The Coiste an Asgard sail training scheme (€0.8m) will be discontinued.

·         Additional Appropriations-in Aid (receipts) of some €13m mainly from UN receipts, property sales, cash escorts and military guards. The scheme of full cost recovery for security services will now be extended to An Post, the Central Bank and other organisations.

 

A very significant proportion of Defence spending is accounted for by pay and allowances. The bulk of the non-pay element is spent on fuel and utility costs, maintenance and replacement of existing equipment and the costs of troops deployed overseas.

 

Regarding capital spending, the 2010 allocation is €16m, a reduction of €5m on the 2009 provision.  The bulk of capital expenditure is on new building works to improve the accommodation and facilities of the Defence Forces.  Capital projects will be reprioritised within the reduced allocation.

 

Published in Budget
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