New Armed Forces redundancy package (AFPS)

I know that this subject is quite rightly being covered in the Finance and RHQ forums but perhaps this Hansard extract is more in the current affairs line and should be of interest to all who care about our armed forces, not only those directly affected by the changes. Any comments?

This was the discussion in the House of Lords yesterday afternoon:
Armed Forces Redundancy Scheme

Lord Garden asked Her Majesty's Government:

What are the benefits of the new Armed Forces redundancy scheme, announced on 21 June, compared with the current scheme.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): My Lords, the terms of the new redundancy arrangements, including a comparison with current terms, were set out in a Defence Instruction and Notice. Copies of that notice were placed in the Library of the House when my honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and Minister for Veterans made his Statement announcing the new schemes on 21 June.

Lord Garden: My Lords, I thank the Minister for his Answer. Before I continue, I shall use the opportunity to congratulate the Royal Navy on its extraordinary display yesterday at the international fleet review....

I am afraid, however, that the Minister did not answer my Question. It looks as though the redundancy scheme is another savings measure. For example, we move from being able to have a special capital payment of 18 months' pay to having 12 months' pay. That is yet another degradation in conditions of service. Will the Minister consider looking at the issue again and perhaps being as generous as his Government appear to be prepared to be to temporarily redundant Cabinet Ministers?

Lord Drayson: ...We accept fully that the benefits offered to the Armed Forces should properly reflect the particular demands of a career in our forces. However, existing redundancy terms were not fair as between people leaving at different points in their career. They were established over 30 years ago, were out of date and needed to be looked at. The way that they have been considered properly reflects the situation today. They are generous compared to the terms offered to members of the Civil Service and considerably more generous than what is normal in the private sector. We are fully satisfied that the new terms are a generous reflection of the service of those affected.

I turn to the noble Lord's third question. A sergeant leaving the Armed Forces aged over 40 under the new scheme will receive a capital tax repayment equivalent to 12 months' pay and a continuing payment until the end of his life of one quarter of his final salary. By comparison, for a Minister, it is three months.

Lord Astor of Hever: ...The Statement that the Minister mentioned contradicts his Written Answer to me on 6 June, which said that there were no plans to review the schemes. Why the sudden change?

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I do not have a full answer to the noble Lord's question. I will look into it to give him a proper answer.

Lord Garden: My Lords, given the opportunity, may I ask the Minister: if it is such a generous scheme, how much extra money has been put aside to implement it?

Lord Drayson: My Lords, I do not want to give the House the impression that it is a more generous scheme. It is not; it is a less generous scheme. However, as it has been restructured, there have been significant improvements in the elements of the scheme that are regarded currently as the most important. I have already mentioned the point about ensuring that the payment made to a person leaving the Armed Forces was proportionate to their length of service. That did not exist in the previous scheme; it will in the new scheme. To take another example, the death in service benefit has risen from 1.5 times to four times final salary.

The Countess of Mar: My Lords, will the 25 per cent of final salary be inflation-proofed?

Lord Drayson: No, my Lords, it will not.

Earl Attlee: ...Will the new scheme increase or decrease the cost of the current redundancy round?

Lord Drayson: My Lords, it will have no effect on the cost of the current redundancy round.
If a Sergeant were to be required to resign - or whatever the OR equivalent is - then he would get jack-all. However the esteemed Blind Pew having been compelled to resign as unfit for service due to "beastliness" gets 18k...raise the double standard and I'll march behind THAT!! Not...

Why are we making people redundant when even the overstretchometer has gone off the scale? Is it in the hope that the pensions bill will fall and so make international adventuring by future Labour governments marginally more affordable? The redundees of the mid-nineties were all cheerful when summoned back for Bos and Kos..they got wedged up for serving, extra pension contributions and still banked their redundancy money. I sense something similar will occur in the mid-to-late 2000s.

Similar threads

Latest Threads