I propose to take Questions Nos. 54, 73, 77, 78, 80, 82 to 84, inclusive, and 89 together.
At its meeting held on the 4th July 2019, the Government accepted, in full, the report of the Public Service Pay Commission on recruitment and retention in the Defence Forces. The Government also agreed an extensive implementation plan for the report.
The implementation plan is arranged around three broad themes of valuing members of the PDF, retaining the best people and attracting the best people. The plan, agreed by Government, sets out the actions to be taken and the timelines within which they will be taken, i.e. immediate, short term, medium term and long term. The implementation plan complements a range of actions that are already underway in the Department and the Defence Forces, to enhance recruitment and retention in the PDF.
In addition, the plan sets out an oversight process and my Department is putting in place the civil and military structures to support this.
The report of the Public Service Pay Commission is currently being considered by the Permanent Defence Force Representative Associations and there will be further meetings in the coming weeks to clarify any matters arising.