CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

DEFENCE (FRONT BENCH) – SERVICE PAY – 16 June 2008

Dr Julian Lewis: It was a very serious matter for the Chief of the General Staff to express his continuing concern at the level of pay for our front-line Forces. Is he mistaken in his view; otherwise, why is the Minister so complacent about the level of pay?

[The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Derek Twigg): I can absolutely assure the hon. Gentleman and the House that I am not complacent about the level of pay. I have clearly stressed that we have an independent review body, and we accepted its recommendations in full. Additionally, we introduced an operational allowance, the separation allowance has been increased, we have introduced a council tax rebate and we are looking at what else we can do. The pay review body talks to armed forces personnel and their families around the world to get their view of conditions. The Chief of the General Staff and the other chiefs want to see further improvements and so does this ministerial team. I know for a fact that when I spoke to the Chief of the General Staff, he was pleased about the increase given this year.]