PDFORRA Concerned About ‘Bord Snip’ Recommendations

By General Secretary

PDFORRA, the association representing soldiers, sailors and aircrew, is very concerned that if the cuts in the Defence Forces, as recommended by An Bord Snip, are implemented – the capability of the Defence Forces to provide services such as fishery protection, peacekeeping and aid to the civil power operations will be reduced.

PDFORRAs General Secretary, Gerry Rooney said, “It is hard to comprehend how the decision to recommend the reduction in the Defence Forces by a further 5% was arrived at – given that the organisation has been subject to cuts amounting to 18% over the past decade.  This level of further cuts can only be implemented if there is a reduction in the services that the Defence Forces provide.  Given the massive reduction in numbers implemented already by the Defence Forces, no further cuts should now occur”.

Gerry Rooney also said “PDFORRA wishes to see the terms and conditions of its members protected – and this includes the impact of the recent recruitment and promotions embargo.  All the recommendations of ‘Bord Snip’ and their potential impact of personnel, should now be addressed through the partnership process”.

The Permanent Defence Force strength was reduced from 12,700 to 11,500 following re-organisation in the late 1990s.  Further reductions totalling 1,000 were implemented following the development of the Defence White Paper 2000.  The Defence budget is now one of the lowest in Europe and stands at 0.6% of GNP.

”If we want a Defence Force, which is capable of carrying out the tasks allocated by Government – then it should not be first port of call every time a national ‘rationalisation’ is on the agenda”, Gerry Rooney concluded.

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