Newbridge Social Democrats Councillor Chris Pender has called for Army cadets, recruits and apprentices to be paid the military service allowance.
“Just like student nurses and trainee gardaí they have been called to work alongside on the front lines during this pandemic, army personnel are essential to the fighting of Covid-19” said Cllr Pender
“Equity and fairness across the public service is essential if we are to treat our front line workers and those putting themselves to the fore during this national crisis,” he said.
“With training suspended and likely to be being extended. Cadets, who like their trained colleagues, continue to receive flattery and applause. Yet remain on a modest trainee salary, unlike their student nurse and trainee Garda counterparts.
“The suspending of training is not the only issue they face, this will likely lead to an extension of their training period and they will not be commissioned early.”
“The pension reforms introduced under previous governments means that the pensions these young men and women are entitled to will be lower than they could have expected as payments are based on their average earnings throughout their careers
“In essence the longer these young men and women who are providing a vital national service through contact tracing and training others the less their pensions will be worth after retirement,” remarked Cllr Pender