Thursday, 8 October 2020

Ceisteanna (48)

Ruairí Ó Murchú

Ceist:

48. Deputy Ruairí Ó Murchú asked the Minister for Defence if troops who undertook predeployment quarantine in Aiken Barracks, Dundalk, have been paid the armed peace support allowance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29132/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

As a strong supporter of the United Nations (UN), Ireland is committed to making forces available for UN mandated missions, pursuant to its commitments under the UN Charter. Given the unprecedented nature and unique circumstances of Covid 19 and in order to mitigate its transmission, the United Nations Secretary General, on 5th April 2020, directed a number of measures to protect UN personnel and their capacity to continue their critical operations.

The exceptional circumstances of the Covid 19 pandemic currently requires that members of the Permanent Defence Force be quarantined in military installations for a period immediately prior to their departure on overseas missions. This requirement is to comply with current directions from the United Nations (UN) and is limited to the duration of the UN restrictions designed to mitigate the spread of transmission of Covid 19.

I have agreed with Mr. Michael McGrath TD, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform that the overseas allowances which are normally paid to members of the Defence Forces serving in overseas military operations on the direction of Government, to be paid from the start of the period of quarantine. The payment of the allowances to the relevant personnel will be processed in the normal manner and will also be paid tax free, as is normally the case for these particular overseas allowances.