Times: "Thousands Of Troops In Line For Pay Boost - Review Body Recommends 3% Increase"

#1
Deborah Haynes, Defence Editor

May 28 2018

"Tens of thousands of troops are in line for an above-inflation pay rise as a defence minister called for more than £7 billion in extra funding.

Tobias Ellwood heightened pressure on the Treasury to increase military spending as he told The Times that Britain’s 137,000 full-time service personnel “deserve a pay rise”.

The independent body that assesses military salaries is understood to have recommended a pay increase of about 3 per cent for this financial year, according to a source with knowledge of the issue. Armed forces pay rises have either been frozen or capped at 1 per cent a year since 2010. The rate of inflation was 2.4 per cent last month.

Any easing of pay restraint rules would strain the Ministry of Defence’s overstretched budget yet further.

A 3 per cent salary boost would cost about £200 million a year, according to Malcolm Chalmers, deputy director-general at the Royal United Services Institute think tank. If repeated in future salary rounds, this could total £1.2 billion over three years.

If the Treasury decided against covering the extra expense the MoD would have to find the funding from its own budget, for instance by cutting troop numbers or equipment purchases. Philip Hammond, the chancellor, is already under pressure to fund proposed pay rises for nurses, doctors, policemen and prison officers. Mr Ellwood, 51, said he did not yet know the recommendations of the armed forces pay review body but that he hoped the government would honour them. He called for total defence spending to be increased “north of 2.5 per cent” of GDP, up from 2.14 per cent at present, to fund the full range of warships, jets, tanks and personnel that the MoD needed.

It is the first time that a government minister has identified a specific target for defence spending. Such a rise would equate to an extra £7.3 billion. “We must look after our people,” Mr Ellwood, the minister for defence people and veterans, said. “Nobody joins the armed forces for the money as such, but we must avoid pay being an issue as to why they would be deterred from it.”

He added: “There needs to be a pay rise. We have still got to conclude the defence modernisation programme but you would need to move north of 2.5 per cent to make any of this work, if you want to retain the same defence posture given the dangers, the complexities of the world that we face.”

Military trades suffering a particular shortage of personnel, such as Royal Navy engineers, could receive pay rises higher than 3 per cent, according to the source.The Times understands that the headline conclusions of the defence modernisation programme are due to be announced in early July. Specific details on the funding question, including any pay rise announcement, are not expected until Mr Hammond presents his budget in November at the earliest. Mr Ellwood’s intervention will increase pressure on Mr Hammond, a former defence secretary, to find more money for his old department.

The MoD is struggling to close a hole of £20 billion in its budget over the next decade for new equipment alone. There is a concern that a longer-term settlement may not be forthcoming from the Treasury until next year. The Treasury has signalled a willingness to relax the 1 per cent pay cap, though, particularly when there are skill shortages.

The pay review body, whose chairman is John Steele, a former group personnel director at BT, bases its recommendations upon evidence, including on affordability, given by MoD officials and the military.

The need to improve recruitment and retention would influence any decision to increase pay, Professor Chalmers said. A recent National Audit Office report said that the military was short of more than 8,000 personnel, the biggest deficit in a decade. Professor Chalmers noted, though, that the MoD had been banking on saving £700 million by 2021 by maintaining the 1 per cent pay cap to fund a 2015 review of defence and security.

An MoD spokesman said: “The armed forces pay review body’s recommendations for the 2018 pay award are being considered by the government and an announcement will be made in due course.”"

Thousands of troops in line for pay boost
 
#2
Here's hoping us pensioners will receive an equal increase:)
 

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#4
In other news, accommodation and food charges to increase by 4%................
 
#5
After many years of just 1% pay rise, I am much worse off in real terms than I was 6yrs ago. Costs of everything have gone up way beyond my wage increase. The final nail for many will be the increase in the SFA charge increase towards civilian rates in 2021.
 
#6
Well the police >1% rise had to come out of existing budgets and the NHS one achieved its headline increase by being a multi year deal and cherry picking niche examples. it also came with negative changes to annual increments so I think the direction of travel is obvious
 
#8
After many years of just 1% pay rise, I am much worse off in real terms than I was 6yrs ago. Costs of everything have gone up way beyond my wage increase. The final nail for many will be the increase in the SFA charge increase towards civilian rates in 2021.
If you can’t take a joke you shouldn’t have joined.
 
#11
Deborah Haynes, Defence Editor

Any easing of pay restraint rules would strain the Ministry of Defence’s overstretched budget yet further.

An MoD spokesman said: “The armed forces pay review body’s recommendations for the 2018 pay award are being considered by the government and an announcement will be made in due course.”"

Thousands of troops in line for pay boost
Yep, nothing to see here. Move along please. Next. (Having crossed the thin line between realism and cynicism).
 
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#14
bizarrely the wheel has turned full circle with lads cooking amongst themselves. A bit like messing of yore.
I wonder if any of those serving look in on the ‘Tonight I Cooked’ thread?....or is it all beans on toast?
 
#15
I wonder if any of those serving look in on the ‘Tonight I Cooked’ thread?....or is it all beans on toast?
quite healthy from what I gather. Ranging from the gym queens boiling pasta and chicken to nice curries with poppadums and the like. Every so often a pizza night. The unit had a grown up approach to the communal kitchens. Ie if it was clean, tidiness didn't matter as much. Kitchen appliances taking on their own life forms were ejected with panache. No cooking in rooms. And for fezzers a move in to transit awaited. That was truly a thing of beauty. Fez bag moved to transit with 1157. Boxes room up. Cleanses room, hands room to sqms. Who marches him back in that afternoon. Took about 10 days. Including several inspections of transit and several motivational and guidance inspections on own room. Good news. We've not found a mould filled pasta pot in his room since. Or biscuits all over the bed. Lile I say. Exquisite. Especially when he tried to get accommodation charges back and was advised he could be billed
for transit and his now pristine z type.
 
#16
....... The final nail for many will be the increase in the SFA charge increase towards civilian rates in 2021.
They won’t be going to civilian rates in 2021


SFA and SLA are provided on a subsidised basis.

Currently the majority of SFA are owned by Annington Homes, and were sold in a poor state to subsidise bringing them up to standard, they were sold as if they were up to standard. This means the MoD rents them back at a discount which is to be reviewed in 2021.
This does not mean personnel will pay the full private rate, it will continue to be subsidised.

Currently the MoD pays a discount rent, and also retains liability for maintaining.
For Annington to charge full rent they will have to take on landlords maintenance - and the government will need to find the money that the treasury kept instead of fixing the SFA. The government have to fix the houses or compensate Annington

FAM is looking at options, which include giving the soldier their subsidy to go out and rent

If the SFA Estate was in the right condition then the MoD would be in a strong position in renegotiation in that it could demand a good discount or walk away, then subsidise by handing out cash instead of ‘subsidising’ by lack of spend

The SFA rent a soldier pays today is not enough to cover the rent paid to Annington plus the sustaining and maintenance that should be happening and being paid to Carillion Amey under NHP. The difference should be the subsidy from government to service personnel
Instead government don’t fund enough and the SFA & SLA Estates are stuck in the condition they are today
 

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