Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Ceisteanna (119)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

119. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the estimated full year cost if the security duty allowance of €23.81 per day for less than 24 hours was increased to €38.50 per day and from €47.59 per day to €72 per day for 24 hours duty; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24120/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

Security Duty Allowance (SDA) is paid to Defence Forces personnel for certain duties performed. Many security duties are demand led and the number of duties can fluctuate year on year. It is therefore not possible to provide a full year cost of the suggested increase mentioned.

In accordance with the Public Service Stability Agreement, 2013-2016, (the Haddington Road Agreement), all sectors across the public service were required to contribute to additional pay and productivity measures. Other sectors delivered these savings through a variety of approaches including additional working time and reduced rates of overtime payments.

The contribution from the Defence sector included a reduction of 10% on the rate of certain allowances payable to the Defence Forces. As part of the cost saving measures to be secured under the agreement, it was also agreed with the Permanent Defence Force Representative Associations that the Saturday and Sunday rates for Security Duty Allowance would be flat rated.

The cost of restoring the premium rates and the 10% cut to SDA introduced in the Public Service Stability Agreement 2013-2016, would be in the region of €2 million per annum. This figure is based on the 2018 payments of SDA. As security duties are demand led and the number of duties can fluctuate year on year, this variable must be taken into consideration in comparing any actual figures with speculative amounts.

It should be noted that the representative associations for the Permanent Defence Force, PDFORRA and RACO have made claims for the restoration of the premium rates which is being processed through the Conciliation and Arbitration (C&A) Scheme. As discussions under the C&A scheme are confidential to the parties involved, it would not be appropriate for me to comment further on the matter at this time.