Sinn Féin Defence spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has welcomed reports that the Public Service Pay Commission is to recommend an increase in pay to members of the defence forces to the Minister for Finance today.
The Dublin South-Central TD said:
“The reports today that the Public Service Pay Commission is to advise Minister Pascal Donohoe to increase the various allowances to members of the different branches of the Defence Forces are to be welcomed.
“Recruitment and retention has been all but impossible due to poor pay and cut after cut to allowances that Defence Forces members rely on to make a living. Forcing 30% of the Defence Forces to rely on the Working Family Payment (formerly Family Income Supplement) is no way to encourage a career in serving your country.
“However, this cannot be a simple increase and then forgotten about. Members who experienced cuts during the austerity years should see retroactive payment for allowances lost. Too many men and women were driven out of the Defence Forces by shortsighted austerity cuts by Fine Gael and those that endured should see that recognised.
“Nor can this be the end of the job of work required to end the crisis of recruitment and retention. The Government must recognise the serious damage it has caused to the reputation of the Defence Forces as a vocation and the vital work they do in Ireland’s name through peacekeeping missions overseas.”