Budget 2022 'a lost opportunity to address systemic decline in Defence Forces' - John Brady TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence John Brady TD has warned that Minister for Defence Simon Coveney has once again failed to take the necessary measures required to help address the crisis in the Defence Forces.
Teachta Brady said:
“Simon Coveney has totally failed to address the very real and growing crisis in our Defence Forces within Budget 2022.
"The Minister has even failed to even meet the yardstick of his own criteria of tokenism in this budget.
"The government has absolutely failed the membership of the Defence Forces today. What, if any gains to the pay of serving members will come about through the expansion of the USC rates and other tax breaks? Measures which they could avail of in the private sector.
"I have met with members of the Defence Forces from all ranks. I have spoken with them, and more importantly, I have listened to them. And I can tell the Minister that there is a serious problem with morale across the service.
"He has locked them out of pay talks by preventing affiliation with ICTU.
"He has failed to address the issue of post-94 contracts, leaving a whole cohort of members without security of tenure in their roles.
"He has failed to take any measures that would alleviate the pressures on current serving members being forced to commit to overseas deployments, for months away from their families, because there is no one to take their place.
"This is a lost opportunity to address the systemic decline
“The reality is, this government is as bereft of the will, or the ideas to solve the problems of the Defence Forces as it is the rest of the problems in the state.
"These problems will not be solved with the thinking that created them. Solutions will require change. The people want change, and Sinn Féin are prepared to deliver that change.”