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Defence Force Salary Increases Too Little

29 June 2005

Defence Force Salary Increases Too Little, Too Late Says Mark

New Zealand First defence spokesperson Ron Mark says the government’s announcement of a pay increase for junior and lower rank Defence Force personnel is too little, too late, especially when it plans to increase the rent on all Defence Force houses.

“These pay rises should have been implemented at least three years ago in one substantial hit in order to stop junior ranks from leaving our Defence Force in droves.

“This idea of drip-feeding the Defence Force with five insubstantial pay rises over six years has done nothing to prevent us from losing valuable, experienced personnel,” said Mr Mark.

“The government should have listened to New Zealand First in 1999 when we called for the implementation of a substantial and meaningful pay rise to ensure that the recruitment and retention of Defence Force personnel – particularly junior ranks – could be maintained at a realistic level.

“And while the government is boasting about giving extra money to Defence Force personnel today, it seems they plan to take it back tomorrow.

“These latest salary increases are unlikely to address the critical staffing shortfalls in the Defence Force. The differences in pay between the Defence Force and the commercial sector are still too wide, especially when extra living costs come into play,” said Mr Mark.

ENDS

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