I SUPPORT the recent call for a 100% pay rise for our servicemen and women in light of the ever-rising cost of living.
Apart from the special service loading and other military-related allowances, the general wage 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 pay rise.
There is 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 ministers and senior bureaucrats abusing public funds, so there is money.
If the PNGDF leaders had done their homework, our troops would have enjoyed a pay-rise.
It is sad that an element of the military was forced to petition their superiors at Defence headquarters in Murray Barracks.
This would not have occurred had the leaders fought for their troops.
It is no wonder the troopers patience ran out last week as reported in the media.
Despite our troop’s loyalty, long service and patience, they were let down by their leaders and system.
The Defence Force needs a pay rise now as the police have had two pay rises since 2007.
The defence council also failed to improve the service conditions of the servicemen and women.
The PNGDF has a very important function to protect the nation.
Yet the Government has failed to look after this once powerful organisation since Independence.
I urge the Prime Minister and the Government to give the PNGDF a well-deserved pay rise.
Money is not a big problem for the Government.
It just spent some K120 million on a Falcon jet just to fly 12 people around and a reported K8 million on a climate-change conference in Copenhagen last year that has not brought any immediate benefits for PNG.