Letters & Opinions

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Give Defence a pay rise now!

I FULLY support the recent call for a 100 per cent pay rise for our servicemen and woman in light of the ever-rising cost of living. 

As apart from the special service loading and other military-related allowances to compensate for the exigencies of life in the military, the general wage scales of the PNGDF must be in parity with those of the police and CIS.

Our loyal, dedicated and committed troops in all three elements deserve a well-earned pay rise.  This has been outstanding for too long and defence hierarchy has no excuse for the delay.  There is no question about money shortage as the government is flush with cash.  The troops see and read about government ministers and senior beauracrats misuse public monies, so money is no object to give the troops a decent pay rise now. 

The military is very well informed of many state agencies that make a lot of noise in recent times have been given what they demand by the government.  If defence leaders had at some time back made the right representation to Waigani, a timely pay rise would have been forthcoming for our troops sooner. 

It is quiet sad that an element of the military were compelled to petition their superiors at Defence headquarters in Murray Barracks.  This would not have occurred had top management fought hard for their troops to get a pay rise they need, but being denied for a long time.  It is no wonder the troop's patience ran out last week as reported by the media.     

Despite our troop's loyalty, long service and patience, they and their families throughout the defence community, have being failed by the system. The defence force needs a pay rise now and should bring it up on par with the police, whom have had a two pay rises under this government since 2007. 

The servicemen have been patience for far too long.  The ministry, department and PNGDF headquarters must get off their backside and demand that the men get what is due to them.  The defence council has collectively failed in their responsibility to make some much needed improvements to service conditions of the servicemen and women of our military in a timely manner. 

The PNGDF fulfills a very important national function to protect the nation, yet the government has failed to look after this once powerful organization since independence.  I call upon the prime minister and the government to give the PNGDF a well deserved pay rise. 

The money is not a big problem for the government.  It just spent over some K120 million on a useless
Falcon jet for just 12 people to fly around in, and a reported K8 million on an expensive climate-change conference in Copenhagen last year that has not brought any immediate changed benefits for PNG, with another useless meeting on again in Mexico this year.  

Reginald Renagi
Port Moresby

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