50. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence when there will be full pay restoration for all members of the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26043/17 asked on 11 Jul 2017)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 44, 50 and 59 together.

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.

The Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Acts of 2009-2015 and the Public Service Stability Agreement 2013-2018 (the Lansdowne Road Agreement) define current pay policy for Public Servants and members of the Permanent Defence Force (PDF).

The measures contained in the Lansdowne Road Agreement which PDFORRA signed up to in March 2017, will be of benefit to their members.

The focus of the increases will be on the lower paid, that is anyone earning up to €31,000 gross per annum. In accordance with the agreement the increases that will be applied from 1 January 2016 are 2.5% on annualised salaries up to €24,000 and 1% on annualised salaries from €24,001 to €31,000.

An increase of €1,000 per annum is due from 1 April 2017 on annualised salaries up to €65,000.

The payments are being processed and personnel should begin to see the effect of the rise in their take home pay in the next few weeks.

The pay of general service recruits and privates who joined the Permanent Defence Force post 1 January 2013 will be increased further following an agreement reached between the official side and PDFORRA earlier this year.

This revised payscale will be backdated to 1 July 2016 and will see the gross pay for general service recruits and privates, who joined the PDF post 2013, rise by between 8% and 24% depending on their point on the payscale. Arrangements are being made to process these payments.

Going forward, there is also potential for further increases arising from the recent negotiations on the extension to the Lansdowne Road Agreement. The Public Service Stability Agreement 2018-2020 contains proposals for :

- a 7.25% increase over the period of the agreement for those earning less than €30,000 per annum

- A 6.75% increase over the period of the agreement for those earning under €32,000 per annum, and

- a 5.75% increase over the period of the agreement for those earning over €32,000 per annum.

The proposals have been presented to both PDFORRA and RACO, who participated in the negotiation process. They will now be subject to ballot by members of the Associations. Future remuneration of Defence Forces personnel will continue to be dealt with within this process.

Officials in my Department continue to engage on a regular basis with both Representative Associations. An example of one of the benefits of these negotiations is that an agreement was reached earlier this year between the Department of Defence, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and PDFORRA on a revised payscale for general service recruits and privates who joined the Permanent Defence Force post 1 January 2013.