Statement on the 2023 Defence Budget – Cathal Berry TD

Statement on the 2023 Defence Budget

Notwithstanding the wording of yesterday’s budget document, senior Government Ministers have since
clarified that the stated €67m (6%) increase in the 2023 Defence budget does not include an allocation for the
National Pay Deal “Building Momentum” currently being balloted on (as this deal has yet to be ratified).
Should the new National Pay Deal be approved then an additional €47m will be provided in the 2023 Defence
budget to fund this. This will be done via the Finance Bill which is traditionally brought before the Dáil a few
weeks after the budget.
Therefore, should the pay deal be ratified, the increase in the Defence budget will not be the stated €67m (6%)
to €1,174m, but rather €115m (10.4%) bringing the total to €1,222m.
I understand the Minister for Defence will be able to provide further clarification next week when he appears
before the Foreign Affairs & Defence Committee on Tuesday and takes Defence Questions in the Dáil chamber
on Thursday.
A 10.4% increase in Defence investment in 2023 would be a significant improvement (admittedly from a low
base), but also a reasonable down payment for the implementation of the findings on the Commission on the
Defence Forces. I very much welcome this and the commitment for further increases in the coming years.
An opportunity now presents itself to make things better. Sincere gratitude to all members of the Defence
community who have advocated so convincingly and campaigned so successfully for this modernisation to get
The Government must now move swiftly to prioritise the implementation of the already announced pay
improvement measures to first stabilize, then increase the numbers of Defence Force personnel. Events
yesterday in the Baltic Sea show that there is no time to lose.