MoD civil servants in Afghanistan get £50,000 danger money t

#1
From The Sunday Times
November 15, 2009
MoD civil servants in Afghanistan get £50,000 danger money top-ups

(Andrew Winning)

Civil servants at the Ministry of Defence are being given extra payments of up to £49,500 for working in Afghanistan and other conflict zones, writes Michael Smith. Clerical staff can claim the allowances — at least 11 times greater than the payments available to frontline troops — because of the long hours and dangerous conditions.

The revelation suggests ministers misled the public last week when it emerged that MoD officials had received £47m in bonuses this year. Alan Johnson, the home secretary, defended the bonuses paid to civil servants by pointing out that they worked in “difficult and sometimes dangerous jobs”.

However, The Sunday Times has established that MoD staff who volunteer to be posted to conflict zones are already compensated. Although they may work at army bases and can accompany ministers on walkabouts, they are not deployed on the front line. Not one has been killed in Afghanistan.

A junior civil servant gets a top-up of £6,750 a month; a senior civil servant, £8,250. Over a six-month tour this adds up to £49,500. By contrast, a junior infantry soldier, on £16,681 a year, will receive additional allowances for the entire six-month tour of £3,570 — equivalent to just £595 a month.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article6917272.ece
 
#2
Well I don't see a long line of squaddies leaving the army and queuing up to join the civil service so it can't be that important.
 
#4
stacker1 said:
Well I don't see a long line of squaddies leaving the army and queuing up to join the civil service so it can't be that important.
Spot on!!!
 
#5
Skynet said:
Keep them in the dark and they will never know!
On Herrick 6 someone asked under FOI how much the COLA and some other allowance the civvies got out there. They then thoughtfully pinned it up in the EFI where it stayed for months.
We all knew and I don't think anyone signed off over it.
 
#6
CS salary on tour has been done to death here, and is only coming up again, due to the recent attention paid to the MOD salaries. As usual we’ll get outrage and anger that we’re getting paid money, but lets break down those payments.

For starters, the amount paid reflects that we’re contracted to work a set number of hours a week, and working in theatre will usually mean you’re working about 3 times as much as usual. The majority of the allowance is to pay you for your time – this is the biggest difference between MOD and HM Forces, who are paid 24/7, while CS are paid for a 37 hour week. The rest of the allowance covers difficult living allowance (similar to HM forces allowances) and a small amount extra to compensate you for the challenges of living in theatre.

Its also often forgotten that CS don’t get issued any kit at all apart from body armour, helmet and respirator and some sunglasses. Everything else we want to take, we have to buy – there is no “black bag worth 3 grand” for us – everything we take, we have to pay for.

People are quick to scream outrage, but the military join up knowing you’re going to deploy, whereas most CS don’t (or at least didn’t ) join with this expectation. You need to offer financial incentives to make people volunteer, or you’ll need to find more forces personnel to deploy instead.

Finally, the sums quoted don’t bear resemblance to any pay scales I’ve seen. The super bonuses refer to are for one, maybe two people at B2 level (full col equiv). Add the bonus to a B2 salary, and they still earn far less than their military equivalents.

Lets keep the outrage bus parked shall we?
 
#7
jim30 said:
Its also often forgotten that CS don’t get issued any kit at all apart from body armour, helmet and respirator and some sunglasses. Everything else we want to take, we have to buy – there is no “black bag worth 3 grand” for us – everything we take, we have to pay for.
I could probably equip myself for a tour as a CS for about £500 tops.

That would be with nice crag hopper shirts, hiking boots, hard wearing trousers and a Tilley Hat.
 
#8
jim30 said:
Lets keep the outrage bus parked shall we?
Fekkit! The one and only time i manage to call shotgun first and the bloody thing's not going anywhere! Pffffffff :roll:
 
#9
jim30 said:
Finally, the sums quoted don’t bear resemblance to any pay scales I’ve seen. The super bonuses refer to are for one, maybe two people at B2 level (full col equiv). Add the bonus to a B2 salary, and they still earn far less than their military equivalents.
What would be a more realistic figure?
 
#10
jim30 said:
Its also often forgotten that CS don’t get issued any kit at all apart from body armour, helmet and respirator and some sunglasses. Everything else we want to take, we have to buy – there is no “black bag worth 3 grand” for us – everything we take, we have to pay for.
Well what else do you need? No more than any other squaddie buys out of his own cash to send out in a comfy box in the vain hope we would actually be able to use it?

Sorry Jim, thats a non argument there. They are in the vast majority of cases in an AC'ed office with the rigours of a trek to the Naafi being their biggest exertion. I dont think a thermos mug, sweat rag, mine marking kit and camelbak will help them out on that :wink:
 
#11
jim30 said:
...

Its also often forgotten that CS don’t get issued any kit at all apart from body armour, helmet and respirator and some sunglasses. Everything else we want to take, we have to buy – there is no “black bag worth 3 grand” for us – everything we take, we have to pay for.

...
The 3 grand bag contains kit for achieving our mission. It is not just a gizzit bonus.

What expensive, specialist kit does one need for mincing around an HQ in a benign location? A Dossbag or duvet from the NAAFI. How many CS are deployed in FOBs?

What a laughably pants argument!

As for the rest we have been round this bouy before with almost the same arguments already mentioned.
 

the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
Doogonk said:
jim30 said:
Lets keep the outrage bus parked shall we?
Fekkit! The one and only time i manage to call shotgun first and the bloody thing's not going anywhere! Pffffffff :roll:
Disturbingly early for Arrse

We normally have 17 pages of burn him before we decide to park the bus

Shall we just crack on anyway?
 
#13
jim30 said:
Its also often forgotten that CS don’t get issued any kit at all apart from body armour, helmet and respirator and some sunglasses. Everything else we want to take, we have to buy – there is no “black bag worth 3 grand” for us – everything we take, we have to pay for.
For which there are a number of allowances claimable as there always has been for trials clothing etc. I recall a number of occasions being sat in my man at QM gear surrounded by others in the latest £150 goretex jacket from Snow & Rock.

Ironically I agree with the gist of your post - market economics, supply and demand but let's not exagerate the "noble" element of deployed civil service staff for many it's a chance to earn a few quid extra.

Equally, good for them that do volunteer, it's clearly a lot bloody harder than sat in ABW canteen all day and they deserve the additional money.
 
#16
I have no problems with CS being able to negotiate their terms and conditions and good luck to them. There is a problem with an Armed Forces Pay Review Body (AFPRB) who are not representative of those they represent and who fix pay and conditions with a cold war mentality. Just how is forces pay meant to be representative of a broad section of civil pay? How many civil occupation take the casualties and deaths that the services do? Surely what is needed is a xx factor for operations. The present pay and conditions on operations are clearly not reflective of the hours worked and the risks taken. The market forces argument is a none starter. I am not aware that there is a shortage of doctors, nurses, teachers, policemen, and many more who all negotiate their pay conditions and working hours and of course are volunteers! Why is it that for hours worked and risks taken they all do better!

The argument surely is how do you pay fairly our service personnel in comparison with the civil population when the latter are taking huge risks and working huge hours and seem set to do so well into the next decade? Maybe someone from the AFPRB would like to explain? One way of course is Keep them in the dark and they will never know!
 
#17
Skynet said:
The argument surely is how do you pay fairly our service personnel in comparison with the civil population when the latter are taking huge risks and working huge hours and seem set to do so well into the next decade? Maybe someone from the AFPRB would like to explain? One way of course is Keep them in the dark and they will never know!
Some service personnel are taking huge risks and working huge hours - many more are putting in fewer hours per week than civil servants (have a look at some of the "what do you actually do all day" posts in the recruiting section). Then factor in PT, sports afternoons, etc.

Walk round most regiments after 4pm on a weekday or lunchtime on a Friday and they are ghost towns. You've got to take the rough with the smooth!
 
#18
On the kit issue - not saying that CS are going downtown into the front line, but most of us have shiny burtons suits with white towelling socks (RAF issue), which aren't going to work in HERRICK. CS on tour need to buy all the clothing, walking boots, day sacks, rucksacks etc that they need just for daily living and getting their kit to /from theatre (thanks stingy MOD which won't let us be issued with bergens). You get a small grant, but thats just about eaten up by buying a decent pair of boots and bag. By the time you've bought the range of gear, you are usually well out of pocket. I'm not looking for any sympathy at all - I just want people to understand that its not just HM Forces who buy kit when deploying!

I'm not going to deny that the money is a factor for many CS - Indeed I'll go so far as to to say that the only way I could afford my flat was to do a tour. Given London prices, an Op tour represents the only chance most CS will get to earn a deposit to buy property in London on their own. That said, to get to the point where you can go, you've been properly screened and profiled to ensure that your motives are okay and you can cope with the pressures. Its not a case of Colin the clerk going "oooh 30K, I want some of that". To do an Op tour is seen as a key part of the departments role at the moment, and only the best get to go. We need to make sure we send people out for the right reasons - the money is nice, but you can't go just for the money, and if you did, you wouldnt be allowed to go.

The £15K figure is far too high - the average allowance is a monthly overtime allowance - which is between £4-6K, which sounds a lot, but is based on the arcane pay system we have, and as such represents what you'd pay a CS for doing 100 hour weeks back home anyway. There is also a monthly disruption allowance, which is about £1k - this is effectively filling the same role as "X-Factor" on troops pay - compensation for disruption and not great living conditions. A typical CS would be on £5K per month in theatre.

Yes that sounds a lot of money, but when you look at how much the military earn in general at the levels we deploy our CS - normally SO1 - 1* level, then you'll realise that the CS is earning about the same as their military peer would do normally (at my level, the extra £30K I'd get from tour would mean I'd be earning the same as an SO1 with 2-3 years seniority earns at home before his allowances).
 
#20
Do you get taxed on that as well?

Yes we do.


More to the point, the papers are being very disingenuous here (shock horror). An SO1 equiv CS deployed in HERRICK is earning roughly the same as an senior SO1 does - when was the last time you saw

"Outrage as senior army officers earn £6K per month in Afghanistan, while their privates suffered on £16K per year"? You don't because the papers don't go to attack Military pay (and rightly so). However, the CS deployed, are only earning what the military earn for the most part, not some hugely inflated amount more.

As for the dreadful line about how much privates are paid - well I'm sorry, but its total BS. Yes a private on appointment gets paid £16k per year - but by the time he gets to be old enough to deploy on HERRICK, its usually nearer £20k, and with allowances, he should be on over £20K per year. Theres no point comparing CS salary to this, as we don't deploy any of our admin staff to theatres - and the private in question is by now earning more money per year than 50% of all MOD civil servants do - (half the MOD are on under £20K per year - to get to that level takes about 20 years of work too).
 

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