Wednesday, 9 November 2005
Dáil Eireann Debate
347. Mr. Noonan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the allowances payable to members of the Garda Siochána which were made pensionable in 1982; the allowances which were made pensionable in 1993; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33376/05]
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): With effect from 1 October 1982, the following allowances were made pensionable under the Garda Síochána pensions scheme, namely, those in respect of rent, instructor, transport, public service vehicles, radio, Ministers’ drivers, substitution, sub-aqua, Gaeltacht, weights and measures and clerical. With effect from 1 January 1993, unsocial hours allowance, which covers night duty, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, was made pensionable.
The position is that the Government decided in September 2001 to accept the thrust of the package of reforms recommended by the Commission on Public Service Pensions and to establish a working group to advise on implementation, as provided for in the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness. Parallel structures with the same remit were established in the case of the Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces. The operational details of the implementation of the commission recommendations have been agreed by Government following receipt of a report from the implementation working group and a report from the Garda parallel working group.
The commission considered the issue of parity of pensions for members of the Garda Síochána who retired prior to 1993 who do not receive the unsocial allowance element in their pensions and for those who retired prior to 1982 who do not receive rent and other allowance elements in their pensions. The commission also examined the specific issue of the pensionability of allowances for members of the Garda Síochána and others, as part of its deliberations, but having assessed the arguments, did not recommend any increase in pension for the groups involved. Having regard to the commission’s report, I have no plans to initiate a further review on the matter.
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