Co Kildare Defence Forces serving at Curragh Camp are now travelling from as far as Co Leitrim due to rising rents

Louise McCarthy

Reporter:

Louise McCarthy

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content@kildarenow.com

Curragh Camp

Curragh based Defence Forces members are travelling from as far a Leitrim because rents in Co Kildare are too high, says Sarah Walshe, representing Wives and Partners of Defence Forces(WPDF).

Meanwhile Defence Forces are expressing serious disappointment that the long-awaited Public Pay Commission report, due to be published yesterday, was not announced yesterday, as anticipated.

Ms Walshe said:"They have been waiting months to be told that it would not happen yesterday. The morale is really dismal at The Curragh Camp, I can't even think of the words at the moment to describe it."

She is concerned that many serving Defence Forces at The Curragh are being forced to travel from  counties Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford, Laois, Offaly and Leitrim below rents are too high in Co Kildare."

Ms Walshe says there is a significant level of vacant, boarded up properties at The Curragh Camp, yet, many serving members are struggling to pay the rent or qualify for a mortgage.

There are reports of young recruits who have signed up to contracts that include educational courses, but are paying thousands of euros, to get out of the Defence Forces, and finish before their contracts expire. 

The Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC) is recommending to Government a 10% increase in the military service allowance (MSA) paid to most personnel, with a minimum increase of about €350 per year.

Recruits are currently receiving €400 per week as a basic salary before tax.

A Private gets a wage of €27,500 before tax, inclusive of military service allowance and this pay remains for three years.

On Year Four, the rate of pay is €32,000 to €33,000, while the top of the salary scale of approximately €37,500 to €38,000 before tax, takes seven years to attain.