Joint Press Release – Prime Minister and Assistant Minister for Defence – Australian Defence Force allowances to be restored

1 Dec 2014

1 December 2014

The Government has notified the independent Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal (DRFT) that the changes to Australian Defence Force allowances are not supported by the Government and asked that the changes be discontinued.

Since the Tribunal handed down its decision on the ADF pay offer last month, the Government has been examining ways to ensure ADF members and their families remain well cared for during their service.

Restoring the allowances will mean discretionary leave, food and motor vehicle allowances will remain.

There is no argument that military service is unique and the Government has repeatedly stated that while we would like to pay our ADF personnel more, we simply can’t give what we do not have.

Australia currently faces a monthly interest bill of over $1 billion and is burdened with a debt rising to $667 billion if left unchecked. In this fiscal and economic context it would be irresponsible to borrow yet more money to pay for wage increases.

Under the previous Labor Government, over $16 billion was stripped from the Defence budget, including a 10.5 per cent cut in 2012-13, the largest single cut to the Defence budget since the end of the Korean conflict.

With the share of GDP spent on Defence falling to 1.56 per cent – its lowest level since 1938 – the Government has been left with a Defence budget in urgent need of repair.

The Government has made clear to the DFRT, through the Chief of the Defence Force, that it will absorb the associated costs of this decision.

The Government has the greatest respect for ADF personnel and understands the pressures that serving members of the military, and their families, face during their service to the nation.

Media contacts:
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 199
Richard Briedis (Minister Robert’s Office) (02) 6277 7730 or 0477 391 174