Armed Forces: Pay — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:30 pm on 20 March 2013.

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Photo of Lord Rosser Lord Rosser Shadow Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow Spokesperson (Transport) 3:30, 20 March 2013

My Lords, the Government have made as nifty a U-turn as a London taxicab on implementing the X-factor supplement recommendation. Yet the contract for the chairman of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body, Alasdair Smith, is not being renewed. He said that, because of the late decision and the time needed to make another appointment, his successor will miss the first half of the year's programme of work, including all the visits to members of the Armed Forces that are a hugely important part of the role. That statement indicates that this was a sudden decision by the Government, made following receipt of the pay review body's recommendations at the end of January, since just over two weeks later Alasdair Smith was told that he would be finishing at the end of this month. In view of their hasty U-turn, will the Government now offer Professor Smith a further term as chairman? After all, he will have the confidence of members of the Armed Forces since he upheld the independence of the pay review body-or is that the problem?