New Zealand First Defence spokesperson Ron Mark has welcomed the increase in allowances for soldiers fighting in East
Timor, but says the new rates are still not enough.
He notes that our Kiwis, fighting alongside the Australians, will only be receiving half the allowances for the same
“Unfortunately, this government has not acted of its own initiative, or out of a sense of duty for our service
personnel, but has only increased allowances because of the pressure applied by the public feeling on this issue.
“There still remains the issue as to whether or not our standard rates of pay are enough. Pay for junior ranks is so low
that many of our Defence force personnel are having to rely on welfare benefits to survive”.