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Defence | Ensuring defence forces are paid accordingly

To ask the Minister for Defence the degree to which provisions are in hand to ensure that the Defence Forces are paid in accordance with their duties, experience, dedication and associated risk with their employment; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


As the Deputy will be aware,  remuneration for individual members of the Permanent Defence Force is dependent on a range of factors relating to the role and duties they perform. The minimum for trained personnel is comprised of Basic Pay and Military Service Allowance (MSA). In addition to this, a range of duties attract additional allowances. All Defence Force personnel also receive three additional public holidays over and above the public sector norms. These additional holidays are specific only to members of the Permanent Defence Force. 

In relation to Public Sector Pay policy, the Deputy may be aware that this matter is determined by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, having regard to Public Sector Pay Agreements.

The current public service pay agreement, ‘Building Momentum – A New Public Service Agreement 2021 – 2022’ provides for increases in pay and allowances to all public servants, including members of the Defence Forces. Most recently a general round increase in annualised basic salary of 1% or €500, whichever was the greater, came into effect on 1st October 2021. In addition, fixed periodic pensionable allowances and allowances in the nature of pay were also increased by 1% on this date.

The agreement provided for further increases in 2022, i.e.:

  • The equivalent of a 1% increase in annualised basic salaries to be used as a Sectoral Bargaining      Fund, in accordance with Chapter 2 of the Agreement, on 1st February 2022.   
  • A general round increase in annualized basic salaries for all public servants of 1% or €500 (whichever is greater), on 1st October 2022. Fixed periodic pensionable allowances and allowances in the nature of pay will be increased by 1% on this date. 

The Government remains fully committed to addressing pay and conditions in the Defence Forces. The Programme for Government provided for the establishment of a Commission on the Defence Forces, and the Commission’s report included an examination of the evolution of all remuneration systems and structures currently in place in the Defence Forces, and made recommendations in this regard.

Given the significant recommendations contained in this Report, I have been engaging with all interested stakeholders on the content, including my Ministerial colleagues, members of the Defence Forces, and the Representative Associations. I will revert to Government very shortly with a proposed response and a high-level action plan in this regard. In terms of any subsequent implementation of the recommendations, the Representative Associations will be consulted on matters arising, that fall within the scope of representation. 



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