On Monday, I held my weekly information clinics in Darndale and Donnycarney. On Tuesday afternoon, I attended the meeting of the Budgetary Oversight Committee and questioned officials from the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council (IFAC) on the Fiscal Assessment Report (June 2019). The Committee was later attended by the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform where we discussed the future of the Local Property Tax.
52.Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the steps he is taking to address the personnel gaps in the Defence Forces; the areas in which these gaps are most acute; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52732/17]
Deputy Paul Kehoe: From the most recent figures available, the strength of the Permanent Defence Force is currently 9,219 personnel, or 97% of the establishment of 9,500 personnel. To return to and maintain the agreed strength levels, significant targeted recruitment has taken place in 2017 which resulted to date in 702 personnel being inducted, comprising general service recruits, cadets and specialists for the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service. Similar recruitment campaigns are being planned for 2018.