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Some allowances should be subsumed into core pay, say Garda reps

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and representatives of garda bodies appearing before Public Accounts Committee.

SOME OF THE 108 allowances paid to serving Gardaí should be subsumed into core pay, members of Garda representative organisations and the Garda Commissioner have said.

Speaking before the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee, the Secretary General of the Garda Representative Association PJ Stone said doing so would remove the notion that they were paid as a perk.

The rent allowance, for example, was first introduced to the Royal Irish Constabulary in 1883 and had been subsumed into core pay by police forces in Britain.

However, he said that it was a “misnomer” that Gardaí were receiving all the allowances, with those that are paid done for very specific reasons such as working over time.

“You have to be able to put people out there tonight from 9pm to 9am. That is why a shift allowance is paid for those terrible hours outside the norm. So it is not as easy to subsume (it) into pay.”

11 allowances have been identified by the committee for withdrawal to new beneficiaries. In total, €240m worth of allowances are paid to Gardaí.

Mr Stone said that the debate on allowances “had been conducted in an atmosphere of hysteria”, with only 34 of the 108 allowances in usage.

Louth TD Gerald Nash questioned why four Garda Inspectors were paid €60,000 in allowances and overtime.

According to Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, they were required to travel extensively and work unsocial hours.

14,377 Gardaí were employed in December 2010. As of October 26th, 13,476 were in employment.

Public Sector Allowances: The ones they *might* change>

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