White Paper Plans Will Require Increased and Consistent Investment in Defence

By Industrial Relations Officer

PDFORRA, the Association representing soldiers, sailors and aircrew of the Permanent Defence Force, say that the Minister for Defence’s White Paper plans will require significant and consistent investment if it is to achieve its objectives.

PDFORRA General Secretary, Gerry Rooney said “With the second lowest Defence expenditure in the EU at 0.5% of GDP, investment in the sector is and, historically, has been very low.  The White Paper provides an opportunity to raise Irish Defence Sector spending to a more credible level – and this will be a welcome and important development”.

Gerry Rooney continued “The White Paper contains a specific proposal to significantly increase the number of women serving in the Defence Forces and PDFORRA looks forward to working with the Minister to address the current gender imbalance.  However, this will undoubtedly require a solution to the lower pay levels of entry grade Privates, which has applied since 2013”.

The current authorised strength of the Permanent Defence Force is 9,500 across the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps.  The Army is organised into 2 Brigades, the Defence Force Training Centre and DFHQ.  Personnel are stationed in 16 locations and serve on 8 ships.  The White Paper does not propose any significant change is numbers, organisation or locations.

Finally Gerry Rooney said, “The Defence Forces has a regrettable history of working on reduced strength levels.  It is imperative that this White Paper will lead to a determination and commitment at Government level to recruit regularly and maintain troop levels at the agreed 9,500 – and PDFORRA is determined to ensure that this will occur”

Issued on: 26/08/2015

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