Armed Forces Pay

Part of Opposition Day - [4TH Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 3:45 pm on 1st November 2017.

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Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence 3:45 pm, 1st November 2017

I was just going to mention the animation—the passion—of my hon. Friend the Member for Plymouth, Moor View, who has done a service to the House with his work to promote the needs and requirements of veterans. I hope that continues.

Vernon Coaker made an interesting and measured contribution. He was the first to point out that what we need to do is ask the question, “What do we want our armed forces to do?” Only by asking that question will we determine the size and the equipment we need, and that is why we are undertaking our capability review.

The hon. Members for Easington (Grahame Morris) and for Leeds North West (Alex Sobel) spoke with passion about Remembrance Sunday and the poppy appeal. It was a real honour to visit the Poppy Factory a few months ago to see the work that it is doing with veterans, and the work for Remembrance Sunday itself.

In conclusion, like all Members of the House, the Government want to ensure that our brave armed forces, those exemplary men and women who give their all for our country, continue to get what they deserve. Our forces are currently serving in 25[This section has been corrected on 20 November 2017, column 4MC — read correction] operations around the world. They are keeping us safe and enhancing our reputation around the world. They are the best of British, and they have the right to expect the best in return. Therefore, although the need for pay discipline will remain a constant in the coming years, we remain committed to ensuring that their overall package of pay, progression and benefits continues to reflect the enormous value that we place on their work. We await the next review’s findings with interest. Members can rest assured that, as a Defence Minister, a former officer and a reservist, I am determined to do everything in my power to ensure that our people get what they deserve.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House
notes that the pay of Armed Forces personnel has been capped at 1 per cent in 2017-18 and that this represents another below inflation pay settlement;
further notes that the size of the Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy and Royal Marines is below stated targets;
notes that dissatisfaction with pay has been identified by service personnel as a reason for leaving their respective force;
and calls on the Government to end the public sector pay cap for the Armed Forces and give Armed Forces personnel a fair pay rise.