DEFENCE Minister Alan Shatter has come under fire for continuing assaults on his troops' pay packets.
But he rejected claims that morale within the Defence Forces was at "rock bottom" as a result of the pay cuts.
Mr Shatter said last night that pay levels here were comparable with those in other armies across Europe.
He said he accepted that 20pc of Defence Force personnel qualified for family income supplements to help meet their monthly bills – but he pointed out that four-fifths of the organisation did not qualify.
Mr Shatter was commenting on criticisms voiced at the annual conference in Wexford of Pdforra.
But he would not say whether he would sanction another review of the cases of soldiers, who joined the Defence Forces in 1994 on a 21-year contract and were to leave from 2015.
Association general secretary Gerry Rooney said those affected would be approaching 40 years old, with families to support and substantial mortgages.
In some cases, he added, married couples would be facing the loss of both jobs at roughly the same time. He described this as a "nightmare scenario".
But Mr Shatter said each person would retire on a pension with a lump sum and those entitlements would become effective immediately. He promised that all of the issues raised by Pdforra would be discussed with them through the conciliation and arbitration scheme.