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Minister Misleading On Defence Pay

Media Release

5 September 2008

Minister Misleading On Defence Pay

New Zealand First defence spokesperson Ron Mark is disappointed at a statement by the Minister on One News implying that Defence personnel are to receive a pay rise of between 12 and 14 per cent.

“The Minister knows full well that there will be no across the board pay rise – this was strongly conveyed during a briefing given to me on 28 August by Defence officials on the new Military Remuneration System (MRS),” said Mr Mark.

“The re-structuring of the way in which remuneration packages are put together basically means that there is a re-shuffling of pay within existing baselines.

“While some personnel stand to gain substantially, other ranks may find very little difference, or none.

“New Zealand First welcomes the benefits that the MRS will give defence personnel in simplifying the salary structure, increasing transparency and choice for individual remuneration packages, increasing superannuation choices, creating equity in housing allowances and linking defence pay to market rates.

“Nevertheless, there is no getting away from the fact that the changes will take five years to take full effect, and even with this year’s planned increases, attrition, especially among those who will benefit least from the MRS, is not going to immediately reverse.

“There is still a strong case for the government to put up a cash injection to stem the flow. What needs to be remembered is that 1000 new recruits, tempted by the new remuneration packages, will in no way replace 1000 highly experienced, highly qualified, highly competent but disillusioned personnel,” concluded Mr Mark.


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