Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal and member of the Oireachtas Justice Committee, Alan Farrell has said that he is pleased with the approval of the supplementary budget for An Garda Síochána, the Prisons Service and the Courts Service.
“I am pleased that the supplementary budget for An Garda Síochána, the Prison Service and the Courts Service has been approved. While savings have been made in many areas of the 2014 budget for these services, other areas, including payroll, transport, and communications, need additional funding to meet their costs for 2014.
“There have been savings of roughly €1.5 million this year in relation to the maintenance and running expenses of the Garda Fleet. This saving was largely attributable to the tendering process used for the maintenance of the fleet and highlights the benefits of using such a tendering system to keep overhead costs as low as possible. These savings, along with €7 million of the additional capital allocation for the purchase of Garda vehicles, form the additional requirement for Garda transport in 2014.
“While it is positive that such savings were made in regard to the transport facilities of the Garda service, it remains the case that many vehicles in the Garda fleet are approaching the threshold at which they should be replaced. It is of the utmost importance that we ensure the men and women of An Garda Síochána are provided with the resources necessary to allow them to carry out their duties to the best of their abilities. For this reason, funding was announced as part of Budget 2015 for the purchase of over 400 new Garda vehicles which will come on-stream in early 2015. These vehicles are being purchased in 2014.
“There is an additional requirement of just under €15.7 million to be allocated for communications and other equipment within the Garda Síochána budget. The majority of this amount relates to the ‘Go Safe’ Road Safety programme against which certain receipts from the fixed charges surplus are being offset. It is essential that we fully support the ‘Go Safe’ road safety campaign and ensure that it has the means to effectively carry out its work. The contract for this campaign sets an output of 6,000 road safety cameras. For too long, we have had high numbers of people dying on our roads and we must continue to do whatever we can to encourage people to drive more carefully and to take their time on the roads.
“I am pleased that the supplementary budget has been approved as this will allow the hard-working men and women of An Garda Síochána, the Courts Service and the Prison Service, to continue to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.”