Defence Force families should not have to rely on Social Welfare to make ends meet
Defence force families should not have to rely on social welfare payments such as the Working Family Payment to make ends meet, according to Labour Defence Spokesperson, Senator Mark Wall.
Wall was speaking after receiving a reply to a Parliamentary Question confirming that 121 families are in receipt of the payment until the end of June of this year.
“It was confirmed in a PQ reply that the Independent Commission on the Defence Forces will be established before the end of this year, with a mandate to report within 12 months. A consultation will then be undertaken prior to finalisation of the Commission’s terms of reference, which will be published following Government approval.
“While I welcome the establishment of the Commission, it is important that the Government do not use the Commission as an excuse to kick the can down the road on pay and conditions for the Defence forces.
“It is absolutely disgraceful that anyone wearing the uniform of the state should have to live in poverty.
Senator Wall continued:
“It is totally unacceptable that Defence force families are living in poverty and have to rely on this payment at a time when so many are choosing to leave our Defence forces. The Independent review commission needs to address proper pay and conditions for our Defence forces and the Government must act on its recommendations.