Record budget of €3.3bn, an increase of 5%, for Justice Sector, including Garda budget of €2.14bn
- Up to 1,000 new Garda trainees and over 400 Garda staff to be recruited
- Further investment in resources- such as Garda vehicles, ballistic vests, body worn cameras and a new fixed wing aircraft - to help Gardaí tackle crime
- Community Safety Innovation Fund boosted to €3m to reinvest more CAB seizures in communities
- €9m increase in 2023, a 22% increase, to tackle domestic, sexual, gender-based violence; and support victims and implement the Zero Tolerance Plan
- Youth Justice funding increased by €2.5m to €24m to divert young people from crime
- Special Exemption Orders to be halved to help Night Time Economy ahead of longer term licensing reforms
- Major staffing package – including 100 new prison officers - for the Irish Prison Service
- €9.2m supporting response to the Ukrainian crisis
- Significant additional staff for International Protection Office as part of €17.7m package to accelerate International Protection processing
- €1m to progress establishment of Gambling Regulatory Authority
The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee today warmly welcomed the Budget allocation of over €3.3 billion for the Justice sector in 2023 as demonstrating the Government’s firm commitment to building stronger and safer communities.
The record funding will strengthen and support An Garda Síochána as they fight crime and protect communities; provide the highest ever funding towards tackling Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence through the implementation of Minister McEntee’s Zero Tolerance plan; and help achieve a series of significant reforms across the justice sector.
It will also support the goal of achieving a safe, fair, inclusive Ireland and ensure that vulnerable communities and victims of crime receive the support they need.
This significant funding – over €3bn in current expenditure plus €272m for capital projects – will also build on the work already underway to divert young people from criminal behaviour and underscore the fact that crime does not pay.
Budget 2023 also supports the rollout of critical modernisation and digitisation needs across the Justice sector and maintains the rate of increased resourcing to the Data Protection Commission to safeguard people’s privacy.
Minister McEntee said:
“Everyone deserves to be safe and feel safe – and we are determined to build stronger, safer communities.
“Today’s Budget is a clear commitment to building stronger, safer communities; supporting and strengthening An Garda Síochána and also towards supporting victims of crime and Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence.
“We recognise the devastating impact crime has, not only on the individuals whose lives have been affected, but on the wider community. I am committed increasing the number of Gardaí and Garda staff, but also investing in the resources they need to do their vital work protecting the public.
“High visibility policing is crucial to making sure that communities across the country are safe and feel safe.
“We will see up to 1,000 new Garda recruits enter the Garda College in Templemore next year, as well as the recruitment of 430 Garda staff to free up more frontline Gardaí for core policing duties.
“The recruitment campaign for An Garda Síochána this year saw 11,000 people apply to join the service – and we will open another campaign next year to help us guarantee that there are 200 new recruits entering Templemore every three months over the coming years.
“More Gardaí, plus additional Garda staff, will help people feel safer and will reduce crime. We are also providing more money for Garda overtime – and this means that Gardaí will be deployed as needed to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in our communities.
“I will shortly announce the first successful applicants to the Community Safety Innovation Fund. This was established by Minister McGrath and I to reinvest the ill-gotten proceeds of crime seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau in community projects. I am really pleased that, because of this Budget, the fund will increase by 50 per cent next year to €3 million.
“Tackling Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence is an absolute priority for me as Minister for Justice - both providing victim-centred supports and services and ensuring perpetrators are punished.
“My Zero Tolerance plan, published earlier this year, is an ambitious five year strategy to help achieve Zero Tolerance in our society for this appalling type of violence and abuse.
“As Minister for Justice, I am the lead Minister in Government with responsibility for Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence, with the provision of both services and policy now within the Department of Justice. 2023 will see us establish a new agency for domestic violence, which will become fully operational in January 2024.
“This Budget provides an extra €9m for 2023, a 22% increase - record funding for combatting domestic, sexual and gender based violence. This will also support the implementation of the Zero Tolerance plan.
“This €9 million includes increased funding of €7m for organisations funded by TUSLA to address acute service demands in existing services throughout the country, and for investment in new services as outlined in Zero Tolerance. This funding also strengthens the nationwide supports, and will help to maintain the momentum in implementing the ambitious goals set out in the national strategy.”
Minister McEntee, along with Ministers Donohoe and McGrath, is also pleased to announce a halving of Special Exemption Order court and excise fees from €410 to €205 to support businesses in the Night Time Economy.
“The Government is committed to supporting the night time economy – the many musicians, venues, event operators and organisers who are integral to creating a vibrant cultural life.
“I am really pleased to be announcing today, that from midnight tonight, the cost of applying for a Special Exemption Order – which late night venues require to open - will halve.
“This follows a number of measures we have taken to support the night time economy, and ahead of longer term licensing reforms which will be announced when I publish the General Scheme of the Sale of Alcohol Bill in the coming weeks.
Minister of State for Law Reform, James Browne, TD, said:
“I am pleased to be providing an additional €2.5m for youth justice measures, bringing the total investment in 2023 to nearly €24m. This funding will support the Youth Justice Strategy’s aim of achieving full coverage of youth diversion projects around the country over the next two years so that every child who needs these services can access them. This funding will support initiatives to make every community safer by changing lives - steering young people away from bad choices and providing education, training and employment supports as well as personal development and sports activities. For some, these services can be the turning point that breaks the pattern of damaging behaviours and helps vulnerable young people to realise their potential.
“I am delighted to progress the establishment of the Gambling Regulatory Authority which is a key Programme for Government commitment. The additional €1m allocation for 2023 will support the CEO Designate in her preparatory work and help to ensure that the Authority will be in a position to start its work quickly following establishment. We are much closer now to ensuring that modern and effective licensing and regulatory measures are in place for the industry to reduce the significant harm caused by problem gambling.”