§ The Prime Minister
The Armed Forces Pay Review Body has submitted its ninth report on Armed Forces' pay. Copies are available in the Vote Office and I will arrange for it to be published as a Command Paper as soon as possible. The report covers the pay of all ranks up to and including brigadier except Service doctors and dentists.
The Government have accepted the Review Body's recommendations in full in line with the commitment they made 415W last year to maintain the pay of Service men at the levels of their civilian counterparts. The Government wish to express their thanks to the Review Body for its continuing valuable work.
The detailed increases in the military salary range between 14½ per cent. and 20 per cent. There are also increases in length of Service increments, Northern Ireland pay, separation allowance and various forms of additional pay. The Review Body has proposed a significant improvement in the pay of part-time members of the Ulster Defence Regiment and a restructuring of their training bounties.
The Review Body also recommends appropriate increases in food and accommodation charges for all members of the Armed Forces. Following the examination of the basis for accommodation charges which was started in 1978, the Review Body recommends an important change in the way in which accommodation charges should be assessed in future which takes account of the differences in Service tenancies compared with local authority tenancies. As a result there will be small increases only in accommodation charges.
The total cost of the Review Body's recommendations represents an increase of 16.8 per cent. over current cost. The Government will ensure that the cost of this settlement is not at the expense of other parts of the defence programme. The consequences for the cash limit are being considered and an announcement will be made in due course.
The effective date for the increases in pay and charges is 1 April 1980.