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Scrapping rent allowance for garda recruits will 'create friction' in ranks

The GRA said the withdrawal of the allowance would essentially be a pay cut for recruits.

The last set of recruits graduating in 2011.
The last set of recruits graduating in 2011.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THE GARDA REPRESENTATIVE Association (GRA) has said the scrapping of the garda annual rent allowance for new recruits when they take up their positions is essentially a pay cut.

As part of the public pay negotiations, a number of allowances – including the rent allowance – being paid to serving public servants were abolished for all new beneficiaries from January 2012.

The allowance of €4,017 a year is used to cover the costs for gardaí of being posted or transferred to stations outside their home county.

A spokesperson for the GRA told TheJournal.ie that rent allowance has always been an integral part of garda pay “because it suited the government of the day to structure it this way”.

The withdrawal of rent allowance is simply a pay cut for new recruits.

A full review of the role, pay and conditions of gardaí is to be carried out under the Haddington Road Agreement and the spokesperson said:

An unfair disparity in pay between new recruits and their colleagues can only create friction, so we will seek to have this re-examined during the full review.

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice pointed out that these allowances were abolished in 2012 and this is not a new move or decision. However the issue is likely being raised now because there have not been any new recruits since then to take the hit.

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