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Sinn Féin slams halving of the Reserve Defence Forces

21 November, 2012 - by Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Defence, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has slammed the announcement from Minister Alan Shatter that the budget for the Reserve Defence Forces is to be halved as well as the numbers of reserve personnel.

The Donegal North East TD said:
"This announcement last evening is the latest kick in the teeth for our Defence Forces. Despite profound concerns about these cutbacks being repeatedly expressed by the representative organisations for the Permanent and Reserve Defence Forces, PDFORRA and the RDFRA, the Minister has continued to enforce even more.

“For a number of years now, the Reserve Defence Forces have been hampered by the moratorium on public service recruitment in anticipation of this so called ‘Value for Money’ review. The Government can use terms like ‘efficiency’, ‘doing more for less’ and ‘value for money’ all they like but they are fooling no one. These cuts to our defence forces have sapped the morale of personnel across the state.

"This decision to halve the budget of the Reserve Defence Forces and halve the numbers of personnel is totally unnecessary. The saving of 10 million euro per annum could have been found in a myriad of other ways as Sinn Féin demonstrated in our pre budget proposals. For example, if we cut fees to those on state agencies by 25% and cut the pay of Ministers to €100,000 and TDs to €75,000: that would amount to the same in savings.

It is all about choices. The government have chosen to dramatically undermine a proud voluntary and patriotic service across so many rural Irish parishes rather than lead by example by cutting politicians pay and political appointees".

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