Latest tone deaf intervention on justice unbelievable
- Need to raise pay not just age limits
- Garda rostering issue has also only been delayed until next April
Labour justice spokesperson Aodhan O Riordain has said it is simply not workable to ask someone in their late 30s or 40s to join the Gardai and take a training allowance that is less than the minimum wage.
Deputy O Riordain said:
“The Minister’s latest intervention on the Gardai will not work, and she and her Government colleagues know it will not work.
“We should be raising pay not just age limits.
“Right now, the Garda training allowance is €305 a week. It’s simply not enough to encourage people to join up.
“The recruitment crisis is rife in the Gardai but it is not because of the cut off age. It is because serving members of the force feel utterly disrespected due to the paltry pay they receive.
“For too long, Government have failed to give the attention and resources that are clearly lacking in An Garda Síochána. Responses to Parliamentary Questions reveal a huge exodus of people from the force – 114 resignations to date this year. That compares with only 70 three years ago.
“We know that recruitment is a huge issue – we need to look at improving pay for those who are joining the force. We should be rolling out the red carpet for those willing to sign up.
“The issue is, many people are giving up good paying jobs to become a Garda, then they arrive at college and realise they’re on poverty pay. Many have families or financial commitments they need to fund. Those in their late 30s and 40s certainly will have these commitments.
“Labour are calling on Government to pay them the full Garda starting salary of just under €35,000. This would be a realistic way of providing certainty to those willing to join up to the force that their financial needs will be met.
“While not a silver bullet, improving pay and conditions is vital to safeguard the future of the force. We have a massive crisis coming down the tracks and the Minister and her Government must pave the way to a better future for policing in this country.”