An Independent Local Election Candidate for Newbridge has called for Kildare Council County to provide 100% interest free home loans for low paid Defence Forces Personnel.
Gerard Delaney says the situation regarding the Defence Forces Personnel has reached crisis point with many living on the edge of homelessness and as many as 20% depending on Social Welfare payment Family Income Supplement to make ends meet.
Mr Delaney said it is intolerable that people we call upon in times of emergency and those we send away to keep the peace across the world do so while worrying if their families will have enough to eat or will be able to keep the roof over their heads, especially given that it was central government who removed all existing subsidised housing historically available to our Defence Force.
Mr Delaney also points to the fact that most are just above the threshold for HAP payments but are nowhere near the threshold for a commercial mortgage. Mr Delaney feels that if the current situation is not addressed by the next batch of County Councillors we may lose the majority of our Defence Forces Personnel in Kildare to the private sector in a very short time, leaving us badly exposed in times of national emergency and ultimately adding to the cost of maintaining our Defence Forces as those who join and go through extensive and expensive training will leave for better pay and conditions, leading to a need to be replaced and adding millions to the cost of maintaining the minimum numbers required, money which would be far better used in retaining the current professional and dedicated Defence Forces Personnel that are in place already.
Kildare County Council has not as yet responded to the proposal.