All members of the Defence Forces must receive the allowances they are entitled to, and receive due remuneration to "reward their vital efforts" during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
This is the view of Sinn Féin Galway West TD Mairéad Farrell, who is calling on the Government to "immediately ensure" all Defence Forces officers, including cadets and new recruits, receive the military service allowance of c€100 weekly depending on grade.
She pointed out that, unlike trainee Gardaí, who have been made full members of An Garda Síochána as a result of the crisis, Army cadets and recruits must return to training. However, in both cases, training has just been paused.
Dep Farrell said it was widely acknowledged that members of the Defence Forces, especially new recruits, do not receive a salary which "allows them and their families to have a comfortable standard of living".
Some members have had to take up second jobs, sleep on families couches, and seek food parcels from voluntary organisations," she said. "This is an opportunity for the Government and State to send a message to our Defence Forces that they are valued, they are vital, and that during this crisis, Defence Forces members will be essential in the fight to stop the spread of Covid-19."