Tuesday, 9 July 2019
Defence Matters: Statements
The mathematics of what the Senator would give a total of €3 million but the package of measures amounts to €10 million. There is €7 million left over, which goes to increases in allowances such as 10% in the MSA, which equates to between €602 and €675 for members up to the rank of colonel. There will be a restoration of allowances which were cut under the Haddington Road agreement. The Senator has jumped up and down in recent years about the security duty allowance, the patrol duty allowance, the Army Ranger Wing, bomb disposal, 24-hour duty and weekend duty but he did not mention any of those in his contribution. I must have done something right when the Senator did not complain about them. We have restored them and they are part of the €7 million he must have forgotten about.
Another example is the recognition of peacekeeping. The UN provides a contribution towards our costs but it does not cover all overseas allowances payable to personnel. It is the State that covers the remainder of the overseas allowance and I am delighted that it has been increased by the Government, following the recommendations of the Public Service Pay Commission. I am disappointed that the Senator does not recognise this. I understand there are no votes in positive publicity so the Senator has to go on the negative.