Lisbon Treaty Must Not Impact On Defence Spending

By PDFORRA

Speaking at the PDFORRA Annual Delegate Conference in Westport today, Gerry Rooney, General Secretary said, “Some of the comments in the media in the debate around the Lisbon Treaty gives PDFORRA cause for concern. One element of the treaty requires that member states ‘shall undertake to progressively improve their military capabilities. Regrettably this line was used by some campaigners in the debate on the treaty, a debate in which PDFORRA does not wish to get involved ”

“The debate did however raise the issue of our Defence spending. It must be understood that Ireland spends just 0•7% of its total national spend on Defence – one of the very lowest in the EU. If we are to continue our ongoing commitment to peace missions all around the world and prepare soldiers, sailors and airmen for the many varied tasks at home – we must continue to spend on our Defence Forces”.

PDFORRA contends that the Defence Forces has a long standing deficit in spending on areas such as equipment, communications and training that needs to be addressed to ensure that its current taskings are achieved. These changes provide improved safety and conditions for members of the Defence Forces.

Mr Rooney went on to say, “PDFORRA has been calling for increases in the defence budget in recent years. We recognise that an additional €30m was made available for the Chad mission, but we must have a consistent level of appropriate funding for our men and women if they are to continue to do what they do as effectively and as safely as possible both at home and overseas”

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