Kildare South General Election Candidate , Cllr Mark Wall ,has welcomed news of the restoration of certain special allowance for Defence Force members but has called on the Minister for Finance to find a route to increase core pay. He has also called for a full-time Minister for Defence to be appointed to Cabinet.
Cllr Wall said:
“I welcome the decision by the Cabinet to support the restoration of some allowances for the lowest paid public sector workers, Defence Forces members. However, after three years of campaigning looking for the Minister for Finance to raise the basic wage of Defence Forces these small concessions are not enough. The Minister has the ability, as has been seen with An Garda Síochána and nurses, to establish a special arrangement for workers within public pay agreements. It is time to pay our army, air force and navy personnel a decent wage.
“If we want long term recruitment and sustained retention within the Defence Forces then the basic rate of pay must reflect a living wage. In the last 12 months, we have heard from spouses of service personnel who struggle to make ends meet every month. This cannot be allowed to continue. Basic rates of pay must reflect the dedication that these workers bring to their role.
“I continue to deal with the day to day problems of Defence force families in trying to survive, these issues will not be solved by the restoration of some allowances. They will only be solved with an increase in core pay. I will continue to help in every and any way I can but the Minister and this Government must find a more urgent solution