CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

'MINISTERS URGED TO LIFT CAP ON ARMED FORCES PAY'

Daily Telegraph – 30 June 2018

The Armed Forces pay cap has had "a negative impact" on recruitment and retention, MPs have said in a report. MPs on the Commons Defence Select Committee said a pay rise limited to 1per cent would be very disappointing, and risks further undermining morale, the report warns.

Julian Lewis MP, the chairman, said:

"It would be disgraceful if our service people missed out on an increase in pay while they watched others who work for the Government receive pay awards.

"What kind of message does that send to soldiers about how much we value the difficult and sometimes dangerous job that they do?"

The 1 per cent public sector pay cap has increasingly been breached in recent months. In March, the NHS was offered average pay increases of 6.5 per cent over three years with lowest-paid workers enjoying a 29per cent rise. Police and prison officers have accepted rises of 1 per cent with a 1per cent bonus, and 1.7per cent respectively. Firemen rejected an offer of 2 per cent. Teachers and military personnel have received no increase in pay. Critics point out that as the Office for Budget Responsibility has forecast inflation to be 2.4 per cent in 2018, most of these will feel like pay cuts.

The criticism came in the annual Armed Forces Covenant report by the Commons Defence Select Committee, published on Armed Forces Day.

The report also criticised the sale of forces accommodation to Annington Homes as a

"disastrous failure [that] has exposed the Department to considerable risk".

The deal also attracted criticism in the Public Accounts Committee report published yesterday, which said the MoD had lost out on billions of pounds as a result of the sale.

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' "FIND EXTRA CASH TO GIVE OUR TROOPS A PAY RISE", MPs TELL THERESA MAY ON ARMED FORCES DAY'

The Commons Defence Committee urged the Prime Minister to pump more cash into the military to give soldiers, sailors and airmen a wage boost

By Ben Glaze

Mirror Online – 30 June 2018

Theresa May is under mounting pressure today to hand troops a proper pay rise. MPs warn that failing to pump extra cash into the military to fund a morale-boosting wage hike will further hit soldiers' spirits.

Publishing a key study on Armed Forces Day, the Commons Defence Committee urged ministers to axe a 1% limit on salary rises. The annual Armed Forces Covenant report says: 

"If the MoD retains the 1% pay cap for Service personnel while other departments increase their pay, it will undermine morale and have an increased negative effect on recruitment and retention.

"While the Government has signalled that there is some flexibility for departments to move away from the public sector pay cap of 1%, it seems that no additional funding will be made available to the MoD to pay for increases above this level for Service personnel."

Chairman Julian Lewis said: 

"It would be disgraceful if our Service people missed out on an increase in pay while they watched others who work for the Government receive pay awards.

"What kind of message does that send to soldiers about how much we value the difficult and sometimes dangerous job that they do?"

The 60-page study also blasts a contract with CarillionAmey for troops' housing as "not fit for purpose". And MPs criticise a deal with Annington Homes to privatise Forces accommodation as "a disastrous failure".

Meanwhile, speaking ahead of today's Armed Forces celebration in Llandudno, North Wales, Mrs May announced a new national games for wounded, injured and sick veterans and personnel, inspired by Prince Harry's Invictus Games. More than 400 veterans and personnel will compete in events including athletics, wheelchair basketball, power lifting, swimming and sitting volleyball.

Mrs May said:

"As our brave Armed Forces face dangers on our behalf, it is only right that we do everything we can to help their recovery when they suffer injuries or illness during combat or training.

"Through these new British athletic games and the rehabilitative power of sport, we can help those who have sacrificed so much for our country to lead full and rewarding lives."