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20th Apr 2017

Defence Forces spouses will protest “terrible pay and conditions” today

Anna O'Rourke

The spouses and partners of members of the Defence Forces are set to protest at army barracks and bases across the country today.

They will be turning out to protest “the terrible pay and conditions” that they say their partners endure.

Defence Forces personnel themselves can not legally demonstrate.

In a statement, the protesters said that many families are reliant on social welfare and risk losing their homes.

“Many members have missed payments on bills as a result of cuts so cannot access loans so money lenders are a reality.

“Borrowing is essential as in the Defence Forces as there is no option to make extra money or do over time. Hence, families find it impossible to save and keep on top of bills or other unexpected costs. The Defence Forces was traditionally seen as a steady career but now members cannot even get a mortgage without proving that they will be signing on after their five year contract.”

They also claimed that one in five Defence Force members are Family Income Support (FIS) recipients.

“No person who volunteers to serve their country should be allowed to have wages so poor that they need social welfare support,” they said.

The demonstrations are set to take place between 12 and 2pm.