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Pay Rises Only One Part Of The Picture

19 April 2001

PAY RISES FOR DEFENCE STAFF WELCOME BUT ONLY ONE PART OF THE PICTURE

The announced pay rises for defence staff are welcome and will address the now chronic problem of poor retention and skill shortages within our defence forces. However, it is disappointing that the pay rise moves are not part of a more integrated strategy to restore morale and pride in our defence forces, says United Future leader the Hon Peter Dunne.

"The pay rise is well overdue. It signals this Government is at least prepared to address the issue of pay for our service men and women.

"The protests from the National Party claiming the pay rise is insufficient ring totally hollow, given their appalling record in this area," says Mr Dunne.

He says the issue highlights the need for a comprehensive defence strategy agreed across party lines to address the issues of service personnel retention, equipment, wage rates and the future focus of defence operations.

"Such a multi-party agreement would go a considerable way to restoring confidence in the future for service personnel and the public who are undoubtedly wary of the political football defence has become.

Pay rates are indeed a positive move. It is just a shame they can't be part of a wider strategy that addresses the problems in defence and provides a future direction," says Mr Dunne.

END

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