Úsáidtear cuacha ar an suíomh gréasáin seo. Is féidir go bhfuil roinnt cuacha i bhfeidhm cheana. Le haghaidh tuilleadh faisnéise, léigh ár Ráiteas Príobháideachais. Tríd an suíomh gréasáin seo a úsáid, glacann tú leis an tslí a úsáidimid cuacha.
An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, the Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe T.D., and the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, today (Thursday) welcomed the Public Services Pay Commission’s (PSPC) report examining recruitment and retention issues in the Defence Forces.
The report was accepted in full at the weekly Cabinet meeting today, at which an extensive implementation plan was also agreed. The PSPC report represents a €10 million package that will result in immediate and future benefits for members of the Permanent Defence Force (PDF).
Among the proposals contained in the report is a 10 per cent increase in Military Service Allowance (MSA), which applies to all Defence Force personnel and is a unique payment taking account the obligations of military life.
Also, the report recommends the restoration of 10 allowances that were cut under the Haddington Road Agreement (HRA). These include the Patrol Duty Allowance, the Security Duty Allowance, the Army Ranger Wing Allowance and the Explosive Ordnance Allowance.
Premium rates of certain allowances for duties performed at weekends are being returned.
The 10% cut to Overseas Peace Support Allowance and Overseas Armed Peace Support Allowance will also be restored.
The return of an incentive scheme to address pilot retention issues in the Air Corps is also recommended and is welcomed. This will see significant increases to yearly earnings for eligible Flying Officers, with details to follow.
There are also a number of non-pay measures recommended by the Commission. The Commission recommends a review of pay structures in the Defence Forces. A review of technical pay, which will affect around 2,500 specialists, is also recommended.
Separately, the Government will look at retirement ages and consider incentivised longer service schemes for certain NCO and officer ranks. These are all areas that will provide future benefits for members of the Defence Forces.
Importantly today, Cabinet agreed to a high level implementation plan which will set out clearly how the report will be implemented. The plan was devised following consultation between the Departments of An Taoiseach, Defence, Public Expenditure and Reform, as well as Military Management.
The Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC) was tasked under the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018-2020, to conduct a comprehensive examination of underlying difficulties in recruitment and retention of staff in the public service. The changes contained in the PSPC report are on top of pay increases already being made to Defence Force personnel under the Public Sector Stability Agreement.
The estimated cost on a full year basis of all these measures is approximately €10 million. The Report’s recommendations will be implemented through a high-level plan, with work starting immediately. The recommended increases in allowances will be implemented on confirmation of these measures by the PDF representatives associations. The Commission will be making all of its submissions and inputs and the Report publicly available on its website www.paycommission.gov.ie.
The Taoiseach and both Ministers acknowledge the work of the Pay Commission and the civil and military staff of the Department of Defence and staff of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform who produced material for the Commission. They also recognise the role played by the two representative associations, PDFORRA and RACO, which made both written and oral submissions to the Commission.
Welcoming the report, The Taoiseach said:
Commenting on the release of the Commission’s latest Report, Minister Donohoe said:
Minister Kehoe said:
>I very much welcome the recommendations to restore the 10% cuts and the higher rates of allowances for certain Saturday and Sunday duties. This will increase the earnings of those members of the Defence Forces who undertake such duties.
>There are no quick fixes to the current difficulties, which are also being experienced by other military organisations internationally. The achievement of strength and capability targets will take time. The recommendations in the Report will now be discussed with the Permanent Defence Force Representative Associations and increases in the allowances as recommend by the Commission will be implemented on confirmation of acceptance of the measures. A High Level Implementation Plan has been approved and work will commence on this immediately.
Download the Strengthening our Defence Forces Implementation Plan Document here.
Notes to Editor:
The independent Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC) was established in 2016, to provide the Government with independent advice in relation to public service pay. In 2017, on the instruction of Minister Kehoe issues of recruitment and retention in the Defence Sector were brought to the attention of the Public Sector Pay Commission. As a direct result of that initiative, the Government tasked the Pay Commission to undertake a comprehensive examination and analysis of underlying difficulties in recruitment and retention in the Defence Sector. Whilst initially focused on specialists, the Commission’s mandate was broadened to consider all ranks across the Permanent Defence Force.
Military Service Allowances (MSA)
MSA is a sector-specific allowance currently paid to all members of the Defence Forces, up to and including the rank of Colonel with the exception of training grades (Cadets, recruits and apprentices). It was intended to compensate Defence Forces Personnel for the unique conditions and special disadvantages of military life. Expenditure on MSA was in the region of €46.5m in 2018.
An increase of 10% in Military Service Allowance will constitute an individual benefit of between €602 and €675 p.a. for the majority of personnel with a minimum of €350 p.a. applicable to those on lower rates of the allowance (i.e. those Private 3* and Naval Service equivalents less than three years’ service). . The overall annual estimated cost of this measure is €4.8m p.a.
Security Duty Allowances (SDA)
Security duty allowances are paid in respect of a range of security duties to which Defence personnel are detailed to perform including for example Aid to the Civil Power, security of vital installations, etc. Approximately 75% of DF personnel received payment for security duties in 2017.
The 10% cuts to overseas allowances will also be restored. For a typical six month armed peace support duty this means approximately an additional €1,400 tax free for enlisted personnel and between €1,700 and €1,850 tax free for officers. In 2018 more than 1900 members of the Defence Forces served overseas. The overall estimated cost of the restoration of this measure is €3.3m p.a.
Premium rates for weekend duties to be restored. The rate for a 24 hour security duty performed on a Sunday will more than double from €47.59 to €105.79. The annual estimated cost of this measure is €1.4m p.a.
Service Commitment Scheme (SCS)
In 1997 the first SCS was introduced, with a second scheme in 1999. The most recent scheme commenced in 2002 and ran to 2010.
Under the scheme, Flying Officers were given the option of committing to serve for either 3, 5, 7or 8 years in return for an agreed annual payment and a terminal bonus on completion of the 5, 7 or 8 year commitment. The gratuities available were designed to strike a fair and reasonable balance between the demands of the external commercial environment and the need to exercise responsibility in relation to public service pay.
The cost of restoring this measure is estimated at €600k pa depending on take up.
Overseas Peace Support Allowance / Overseas Armed Peace Support Allowance (OPSA/OAPSA):
These are allowances paid for those deployed overseas, typically on a six month tour of duty. It is paid tax-free. The 10% cut to these allowances is being restored and is worth an additional €1,400 tax free for enlisted personnel and between €1,700 and €1,850 tax free for officers.
With this restoration, each time a member of the PDF goes on overseas deployment for a six-month period, average earnings are between €15k and €20k tax free on top of basic pay.