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DEFA responds positively to budget challenges 21 February 2013

The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) has reduced its 2013/2014 revenue budget by £668,000 to £14.303 million in response to the need to re-balance the Government’s budget. This equates to a budget reduction of 4.5% on the previous year. Taking into account inflation and the effect of loan charges, this has required savings of over £800,000 to be made and includes the loss of a further 8 to 10 posts, predominantly through “natural wastage”.

DEFA has already made numerous changes over the last few years in response to the financial situation faced by the Government. Since 2010, it has already removed over £1.4 million (9%) from its budget and lost 23 (14%) posts. This has been achieved through a combination of operational efficiency savings, revenue income generation measures, and some reduction in grants. This approach has been continued for 2013/14 so as to meet budget priorities set out by the Chief Minister.

DEFA Minister, Phil Gawne MHK said: “We continue to work hard to ensure that we play a positive part in helping to meet budget challenges. This has meant scrutinising closely the services we deliver and finding ways to continue to provide as much as we can of them but at reduced cost. I am grateful to staff for showing the flexibility and commitment necessary during these difficult times, enabling us to minimise the impact on the delivery of services to the public. I have every confidence that we will continue to deliver value for money for the Isle of Man, and help grow the Food and Forestry sectors of the Manx economy”.

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