4. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Defence his views on recent claims about the standard of living of members of the Defence Forces that were made at this year’s PDFORRA conference; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43463/14 asked on 13 Nov 2014 - Defence Forces Remuneration)

Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl: It is unusual that the annual conference of PDFORRA would make the news headlines for two consecutive days, as it did this year. It did so because of issues concerning the standard of living of members of the Defence Forces. The question directly challenges the Minister to establish what he proposes to do about the very difficult standard of living many members of the Defence Forces must contend with.
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5. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Defence his views regarding reports of over 20% of enlisted personnel experiencing poverty; if he will take urgent action to address this problem; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43329/14 asked on 13 Nov 2014 - Defence Forces Remuneration)

Deputy Clare Daly: This is essentially the same issue as that raised by Deputy Ó Fearghaíl. I note the Minister acknowledged there is a problem with pay in the Defence Forces but his defence is that he did not know about it or is now looking at it. The facts speak for themselves. The level of pay in the Defence Forces does not meet a threshold of decency in a large number of cases and has to be supplemented by the social welfare system. He is correct that the situation has been aggravated by...

14. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Defence if he attended the recent PDFORRA conference; his response to concerns expressed at same regarding the standard of living of members of the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43290/14 asked on 13 Nov 2014 - Defence Forces Remuneration)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): I was made aware of a number of issues for the first time at the recent PDFORRA annual conference. I presume the Deputy is referring to the claim that five members of the PDF were sleeping in cars because they could not afford the cost of commuting to their place of work, and claims that approximately 20% of PDFORRA’s membership are availing of Family Income Supplement. There is no reason why any member of the PDF should be sleeping in their car. I...

96. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Defence if he has had talks with the Departments of Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform with regards to improving the conditions of the lower ranks of the Defence Forces as they are finding difficult to manage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43515/14 asked on 13 Nov 2014 - Defence Forces Remuneration)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): I have not held talks with the Minister for Finance, or the Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform regarding remuneration or conditions of employment in the Permanent Defence Force (PDF). Rates of remuneration and conditions of employment in the Irish public sector have traditionally been set by reference to relative levels of pay across the various sectors of the Irish public sector. In this regard, the level of remuneration in the Defence sector ...

483. Deputy Noel Coonan asked the Minister for Defence the position regarding non-payment of Defence Forces’ salary in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42099/14 asked on 04 Nov 2014 - Defence Forces Remuneration)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Military Authorities have advised me that the officer referred to by the Deputy did not receive payment from 25 August 2003 until 24 January 2005 as she had exceeded the sick leave limits for which she was entitled to be paid. 
In accordance with Defence Force Regulations an officer on sick leave is entitled to full pay for up to 365 days over the aggregate period of the last 4 years. When that limit is reached the officer is entitled to half ...

488. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Defence his views on recent claims regarding the standard of living of members of the Defence Forces that were made at the recent PDFORRA annual conference; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42170/14 asked on 04 Nov 2014 - Defence Forces Remuneration)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): I was made aware of a number of issues for the first time at the recent PDFORRA annual conference and requested a report from my Department on the matters that arose concerning the standard of living of members of the Permanent Defence Force (PDF). I presume the Deputy is referring to the claim that five members of the PDF were sleeping in cars because they could not afford the cost of commuting to their place of work, and claims that approximately 2...

311. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Defence if the agreement to reimburse 10% of basic salary to contract soldiers will be honoured; if the payments will be backdated to 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40202/14 asked on 21 Oct 2014 - Defence Forces Remuneration)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): Nowhere in the Public Service Stability Agreement 2013 – 2016, ‘The Haddington Road Agreement’ is there a promise to pay an extra 10% to any public servant. I am assuming that the Deputy is referring to Paragraph 2.31 of that Agreement which provides “that in order to address the imbalance between those who entered the Public Service since 2011 and those who entered before that date, revised incremental salary scales shall be prepared for same grade e...

154. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Defence if he will proceed with a disablement gratuity payment under the Army Pensions Acts in respect of a person (details supplied). (Question 28873/14 asked on 03 Jul 2014 - Defence Forces Remuneration)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Under the Army Pensions Acts the Minister for Defence may, when awarding a disablement gratuity, take into account compensation received in respect of the same disablement. This is provided for under Section 13(2) of the Army Pensions Act, 1923, as amended by the Army Pensions Acts of 1927 and 1946. The purpose of this provision is to prevent compensation ‘on the double’ for the same injury. In a situation where court proceedings have commenced, bu...

164. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 437 of 11 March 2014, in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare, if the person was unduly disadvantaged by virtue of the compensation award which appears to have affected the person’s disability pension in a negative way; if a reduction in the disability pension should have occurred at all in view of the fact that the injury resulted in the person’s retirement from the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14676/14 asked on 27 Mar 2014 - Defence Forces Remuneration)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): As outlined in my previous reply the Army Pensions Acts provide for the grant of pensions and gratuities to former members of the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) in respect of permanent disablement due to a wound or injury attributable to military service (whether at home or abroad) or due to disease attributable to or aggravated by overseas service with the United Nations. Section 13(2) of the Army Pension Act 1923 provides that any compensation receiv...

437. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the reason a pension reduction following a court case has occurred in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11978/14 asked on 11 Mar 2014 - Defence Forces Remuneration)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): The Army Pensions Acts provide for the grant of pensions and gratuities to former members of the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) in respect of permanent disablement due to a wound or injury attributable to military service (whether at home or abroad) or due to disease attributable to or aggravated by overseas service with the United Nations. Section 13(2) of the Army Pensions Act, 1923, as amended, provides that “Any compensation which may be received f...

167. Deputy Seamus Kirk asked the Minister for Defence if he will advise when it is hoped to pay serving members who have joined the Permanent Defence Force since 2011 an extra 10% that was promised as part of Haddington Road agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8472/14 asked on 19 Feb 2014 - Defence Forces Remuneration)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): Nowhere in the Public Service Stability Agreement 2013 – 2016, ‘The Haddington Road Agreement’ is there a promise to pay an extra 10% to any public servant. I am assuming that the Deputy is referring to Paragraph 2.31 of that Agreement which provides “that in order to address the imbalance between those who entered the Public Service since 2011 and those who entered before that date, revised incremental salary scales shall be prepared for same grade en...