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Minister Smith confirms Department savings of €9.1 million in 2008

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, today confirmed that his Department would be providing savings of €9.1 million in 2008 towards the Government's overall savings of €440 million this year. The Minister said that further savings would be sought in 2009.

Speaking in the Dáil today, Minister Smith said that the €9.1 million would be "absorbed by the administrative budgets in my Department and its State Agencies and will involve savings in operating costs, including salaries". The Minister confirmed that €1.04 million would be saved on his Department's administrative budget, €5.391 million would be sought from the State Agencies under his Department's aegis and a further €2.679 million will be saved on consultancies, PR and payroll costs.

 

Minister Smith said that he will be "examining every aspect of my Department's programme of schemes and services with a view to ensuring that expenditure is fully justified and that we get the best possible value for public investment in these sectors".

Emphasising the significant contribution to the economy made by the agriculture, food, forestry and fishing industries, Minister Smith described the agri-food sector as "one of our most important indigenous manufacturing industries" which accounts for almost 7% of GDP, 8% of employment and 10% of exports.

The Minister said that the range of measures and schemes funded by his Department were "important drivers of economic development in the agriculture, fisheries and food sectors". Minister Smith concluded with a commitment to "continue with this prudent, on-going approach to managing the public finances in order to support the agri-food sector but also in taking any additional and proportionate measures required to manage our way through the current difficulties".

Date Released: 10 July 2008