THE HON BILL SHORTEN
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG
SENATOR STEPHEN CONROY
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR DEFENCE
SENATOR FOR VICTORIA
DECENT PAY FOR SOLDIERS ALREADY IN THE BUDGET
The Abbott Government’s excuse for it’s pathetic pay offer to Defence personnel has been revealed as a complete furphy.
The Government has been slippery with the truth when it comes to the Defence pay offer.
It has been revealed that there is no good reason the Government cannot put a fair deal on the table because it is already budgeted for.
The Government has blamed its Budget emergency for the below inflation pay offer, while the Budget papers reveal the funds have already been provided for. That is scandalous.
It is incomprehensible that this government can send our service men and women into harm’s way, and at the same time force the ADF take an effective pay cut.
Our Defence Force shouldn’t have to fight the Abbott Government for fair pay and acceptable leave – they sacrifice enough and they deserve better.
Over the past three years, ADF wages have increased by an average of 3 per cent every year.
The Abbott Government has halved this and only offered 1.5 per cent – well under inflation.
The Budget papers show that a wage increase of almost 4 per cent has been provided for in the Defence budget.
By offering a pay deal of 1.5 per cent the Government is essentially taking a saving at the expense of our Defence personnel.
The Government is also proposing to permanently take away compensatory Christmas and Recreation Leave from our service men and women.
Labor is deeply disturbed that the Abbott Government is determined to cut the real pay of our soldiers, pilots, seamen and other uniformed personnel.
This is despite Assistant Minister for Defence Stuart Robert saying in 2011 that it was ”outrageous'” to make a pay offer below inflation.
Labor wrote to the President of the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal (DFRT) Anne Harrison asking that she consider the strong submission of the Defence Force Welfare Association (DFWA), which calls for a fair go for our uniformed personnel.
The DFRT has reserved its decision while it considers submissions.
MONDAY, 20 OCTOBER 2014
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