asked the Minister for Defence whether he will take steps to ensure that retiring n.c.o.s and men will receive gratuities in line with those provided for retiring commissioned officers.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Retiring Gratuities for N.C.O.s and Men of Defence Forces.
I should make it clear that only married officers are eligible for gratuities in addition to their retired pay. Single officers are not so eligible. Married non-commissioned officers and men discharged on pension are eligible also for additional married pensions, and non-commissioned officers and men, whether married or single, who have the appropriate service are eligible on discharge for very long pre-discharge leave with full pay and allowances—91 days in the case of those with 21 or more years' service. That is a very valuable concession, and I regret, therefore, that I cannot undertake that gratuities will also be payable on discharge.
Is it not obvious, on the face of that reply, that there is a discrimination against n.c.o.s and men?
No. If the Deputy reads the reply, he will find there is no discrimination. They are entitled to married pensions.
Yes, but not to gratuities.
Those who get gratuities are not entitled to married pensions.