Thursday, 11 July 2019
Public Service Pay Commission Report on the Permanent Defence Force: Statements
Like my colleagues, I was very disappointed with this deal. While some might say €10 million is a lot of money, the Army has been allowed to disintegrate so badly by this and the previous Administrations that €10 million is a drop in the ocean. I calculate that there are about 800 men and women from my constituency of Roscommon-Galway in the Defence Forces. Like other Deputies, I have received many representations about their conditions. A private's starting pay of €28,000 is too high in most counties to get a local authority loan and too low to get a mortgage. They are immediately in trouble with housing, which is a major issue for many members of the Defence Forces. Through and through, they tell me that they have several bits and pieces of jobs just to keep bread on the table. The matter will need to be revisited and addressed properly as we need to do better for the Defence Forces. The Air Corps and the Naval Service are vital along the coastline. What is going in them is tragic and outrageous and I am giving the same message as everybody else. While the deal is something, it is not enough and is not going down well with the Defence Forces.