Armed Forces Pay

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd October 2018.

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Photo of Mike Amesbury Mike Amesbury Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Employment) 12:00 am, 22nd October 2018

What recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of armed forces pay.

Photo of Mark Lancaster Mark Lancaster The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

As there is a bidding war, may I say that, as the last six generations of my family came from Huddersfield, I am definitely up for coming back there?

Our assessments are made with the support of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body. In making recommendations, the AFPRB takes account of the need to recruit, retain and motivate suitable service personnel, affordability, the inflation target and the need for armed forces’ pay to be broadly comparable with that of civilians.

Photo of Mike Amesbury Mike Amesbury Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Employment)

Does the Minister share my concern that all three services are running below strength, and the Government’s delay in lifting the public sector pay cap has exacerbated the problem?

Photo of Mark Lancaster Mark Lancaster The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

I am delighted to say, and I am sure the House will wish to know, that the 2% pay award has now been paid retrospectively, and the 0.9% bonus element will be paid in two lump sums, one next month and one in March.

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Conservative, Cheltenham

The frontline of our country’s defence is increasingly in cyber-space, and the strength of that defence depends on the calibre of the people operating in it, such as my constituents at GCHQ. What steps are being taken to ensure that payscales are sufficient to attract and retain the brightest and the best?

Photo of Mark Lancaster Mark Lancaster The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

We take those factors into consideration, and I was delighted to open the new defence cyber-school back in March. We feel strongly that cyber-skills should become part of the core skills of all our armed forces.

Photo of David Linden David Linden SNP Whip

How many staff under the age of 25 are paid less than £8.75 an hour?

Photo of Mark Lancaster Mark Lancaster The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

It will come as no surprise to the hon. Gentleman that I do not have that figure at my fingertips, but I will write to him.