HC Deb 03 June 1924 vol 174 cc1049-50
16. Sir C. YATE

asked the Secretary of State for War whether, instead of the proposed reduction of 5½ per cent. on the whole pay and pension of officers, he will leave out of the calculation the basic rate of 80 per cent., and have the reduction calculated solely on the 20 per cent., which is the only amount liable to reduction?


I regret if my previous answers have not made this matter clear. The improved rates of pay authorised by the Royal Warrant of 1919 consist of a basic element of 80 per cent. and a variable element of 20 per cent., the variable 20 per cent. being alone liable to fluctuate according as the extra cost of living, compared with before the War, is more or less than what it was in 1919. The present extra cost of living is over 27½ per cent. less than what it was in 1919, and, therefore, under the terms of the original Royal Warrant granting the new rates, the variable 20 per cent. element is subject to be reduced by 27½ per cent. The basic 80 per cent. is not affected, but the reduction of the variable element of the pay by 27½ per cent, is equivalent, as a matter of arithmetic, to a reduction of the whole of the pay by 5½ per cent.


In order to remove the doubts which exist in the minds of many officers, will the right hon. Gentleman kindly publish the fact that the reduction will be 27½ per cent. of the variable 20 per cent. and not, 5½ per cent. of the whole?

Viscount CURZON

Does not the right hon. Gentleman's answer amount to this, that if the cost of living falls a little more, the whole of the 20 per cent. will go, which will mean 101 per cent. of the increase?


If the cost of living really falls to such a degree as would warrant the whole of the 20 per cent. coming off, then it will have that effect. Nobody can anticipate what the future may hold, but that would be the effect.