HC Deb 20 May 1924 vol 173 cc1985-6
22. Colonel Sir CHARLES YATE

asked the Secretary of State for War whether, instead of the proposed reduction of 5½ per cent. in the whole pay and pensions of officers, he will have the reduction calculated solely on the 20 per cent. increase, as the basic rate of 80 per cent. is a fixed rate and cannot be reduced; and if he will give an assurance that officers whose pre-war pensions were more than the basic rate will not suffer any reduction below such pre-war rates?


In reply to my hon. and gallant Friend, I would explain that the reduction has in fact been calculated in the same manner which he indicates. The 80 per cent. basic element in the pay and retired pay of officers has not been reduced; it is only the variable 20 per cent. of pay that is reduced proportionately to the fall in the cost of living. This reduction of the variable 20 per cent., when expressed as a percentage of the whole pay, amounts to 5½ per cent. The answer to the second part of the question is in the affirmative.


If it has already been calculated—the question of 20 per cent.—why cannot the right hon. Gentleman publish that calculation instead of the 5½ per cent.?


We could publish it, but I have only been asked as to what the facts are and what is the result when calculated, in accordance with the fall in the cost of living, upon the 20 per cent., which was variable since 1919. If one took 5½ per cent. on £100, it comes to 27½ per cent. on £20. That is really the fact of the matter.


Will the right hon. Gentleman reconsider his decision?


Would it not save a lot of misunderstanding if, as the right hon. Gentleman has stated, there is no reduction on the pre-War figure, especially as regards Indian pensions, and the only reduction to be made is on the bonus to meet the extra cost of living, and there is to be a reduction of 27½ per cent., that 27½ per cent. should be taken oft the extra bonus instead of off the whole?

23. Mr. GREENE

asked the Secretary of State for War if, in the consideration of the proposed reduction of 5½ per cent. in the pay of officers, attention was given to the loss sustained by the latter owing to promotion having been retarded by the amalgamation and abolishment of units?


The answer is in the negative. The 5½ per cent. reduction is a reduction due, in accordance with the provisions of the Royal Warrant, for the fall in the cost of living. The fixing of the figure depends solely on the variation in the cost of living, and no other consideration enters into it.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there are many officers who should have been captains for years and are now so low on the list of subalterns that their chances of promotion are almost nil?