Troops Allowance Escapes Scythe Of Gov Cuts

Irish peacekeeping troops are to receive an increase in allowances despite expected mass public spending cuts.

A previously negotiated increase of 5% to their daily allowance of €23.58 a day, looked in doubt because of spending cuts but Defence Minister Willie O'Dea revealed on Thursday that it would be paid.

The Irish budget next week is expected to deliver an expansive range of cuts, through a variety of public sectors. It is not yet known if military spending will be affected.

Meanwhile, an expensive recruitment drive by the British Army in the Republic has made little impact on the Irish Defence Forces. The intensive drive focused on potential recruits in Ireland, and lasted over a year but it has been revealed between April last year and the end of September, only 24 applicants had signed up.

Defence Minister Willie O'Dea said there were currently five applicants for every vacant post for enlisted personnel in the Defence Forces, while the rate for officers' positions was 25-1.

Lt Gen Earley told the annual conference in Westport of PDFORRA, the representative association for soldiers, sailors and aircrew, that the ongoing need was to attract and enlist the highest quality personnel.


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