Photo of John Hemming

John Hemming (Birmingham, Yardley, Liberal Democrat)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether (a) the families of members of the Armed Forces killed and (b) members of the Armed Forces injured in (i) Iraq and (ii) Afghanistan before the completion of six months service in that country receive additional remuneration to offset their tax liability.

Photo of Des Browne

Des Browne (Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence; Kilmarnock and Loudoun, Labour)

Service personnel who are killed or injured in Iraq or Afghanistan do not receive additional remuneration to offset their liability for tax. However, as I announced on 10 October, service personnel in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans now receive a tax-free operational allowance that is paid as a lump sum at the end of their operational tour. The allowance is worth around £2,240 to personnel completing a six month operational tour, paid on a pro rata basis for longer or shorter tours, to ensure that the more junior personnel are compensated for their tax bill whilst deployed.

If a service person who is eligible for the operational allowance is injured and/or hospitalised, either overseas or in the UK, they will continue to be paid the allowance for the planned length of their deployment. Also, if a service person in receipt of the allowance is declared dead, their pay account will be credited with the amount of operational allowance that would otherwise have been paid had they completed their planned deployment. This has been explained in the new regulations for the operational allowance that were finalised on 3 November and published to the armed forces on the same day. A copy of the regulations has been placed in the Library of the House.

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