Written answers

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Department of Defence

Defence Forces Remuneration

Photo of Pádraig MacLochlainnPádraig MacLochlainn (Donegal North East, Sinn Fein)
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21. To ask the Minister for Defence his views on the assertion of the Permanent Defence Forces Other Ranks Representative Association that 20% of its members are on family income supplement and the measures he will take to address same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46634/13]

Photo of Alan ShatterAlan Shatter (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Defence; Dublin South, Fine Gael)
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Rates of remuneration and conditions of employment in each part of the Irish public sector have traditionally been set by reference to levels of pay available in related public sector employments. In this regard, the level of remuneration in the Defence sector has maintained relativity with the levels available in other related public sector employments. I fully appreciate that many of our citizens are facing difficulties in the current environment, including members of the Defence Forces. The Government is making every effort, within available resources, to support all those who face hardship. In addition, there are various schemes in place through the Department of Social Protection, including Family Income Supplement, to support those on low incomes.

The circumstances surrounding an application for Family Income Supplement, or indeed any other scheme operated by the Department of Social Protection, is a private matter between the applicant and the Department of Social Protection. I am, therefore, not aware of the eligibility of individual members of the Permanent Defence Force to receive such allowances, or the total numbers of Defence Force members that may be in receipt of this financial support. Various factors can give rise to such claims. However, the important thing is that, despite the difficult economic environment, the Government has maintained this important safety net for families who by virtue of their particular circumstances require such financial support.

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