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The House of Representatives yesterday (July 19) approved the Defence (Retired Pay, Pensions and Other Grants) (Amendment) Regulations 2005 to permit certain regulations under the Defence Act to be made with retrospective effect.
The amendments will provide a special definition of pay and for special allowances to be included as pensionable allowance for members of the Jamaica Defence Force.
State Minister for National Security, Derrick Kellier, who moved the resolution, explained that, “the regulations are necessary to correct the anomalies with matters concerning pay, allowances, pension and gratuities for members of the JDF, thus transforming the regulations to the provisions of the JCF (Jamaica Constabulary Force) Act”.
On November 18, 2002, Cabinet agreed that with effect from April 1, 1994, the principal resolutions be amended to provide for a special definition of pay and for special allowances to be included as a pensionable allowance.
Prior to that, on November 11, Cabinet also took a decision giving approval for the principal regulations of the Defence Act to be amended to include diving pay, flying pay and specialist allowances in the definition of pay and to make housing allowances pensionable on the same basis as for the Jamaica Constabulary Force, with effect from January 1, 1986.
Opposition Spokesman on National Security, Derrick Smith in his remarks, welcomed the amendments, stating that members of the security forces had to be encouraged as they were critical in the fight against crime and should be duly compensated.