As the Deputy knows, I have been spending a lot of time trying to understand and address some of the current challenges in the Naval Service. Personnel in the Naval Service are paid basic pay, military service allowance and, where appropriate, technical pay at the same rates as their colleagues in the Army and Air Corps. Enlisted personnel of the Naval Service also receive naval pay.
I am aware of reports that a small number of personnel have left the Naval Service in recent times to pursue a career in the Army. This can be for a variety of reasons, including career progression or personal circumstances. The range of duties undertaken differs across the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service. Where there is commonality, such as base security duties, the same duty rates are paid. However, members of the Naval Service undertake seagoing duty which differs from duties undertaken by other members of the Defence Forces. When on their two-year seagoing rotation, members of the Naval Service can be away from home on a regular basis. For this reason and because of the nature of the duty, seagoing service can prove unattractive. Jobs in the private sector and elsewhere which do not require such absences at sea have proved attractive for members of the Naval Service, both new entrants and more experienced personnel.
Naval Service personnel undertaking seagoing duties are paid a patrol duty allowance for each patrol day that they undertake. This is in addition to their basic pay, military service allowance, naval pay and technical pay, where applicable. An increase of 2% on annualised salaries is being implemented from 1 October 2020 under the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018-2020. The 5% cut in allowances imposed under the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest, FEMPI, legislation is also being reversed from 1 October this year. This will benefit Naval Service personnel with an increase in the daily patrol duty allowance to €56.14 per day for personnel enlisted prior to January 2013, €59.09 per day for personnel enlisted after January 2013 and €58.86 per day for officers. Each ship has a target of 165 patrol days each year. A special tax credit was introduced on a one-off exceptional basis in the Finance Act 2019 to incentivise seagoing duties. A seagoing naval personnel tax credit of €1,270 applies for the 2020 tax year and is based on the number of days served at sea in 2019.
I assure the Deputy that we are continuing to work with the Naval Service to find ways of ensuring that we can enhance even further the attractiveness of committing to go to sea.