HC Deb 25 January 1977 vol 924 cc1151-2
3. Mr. Gow

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will increase the special daily payment made to members of the Armed Forces serving in Northern Ireland.

The Under-Secretary of State for Defence for the Army (Mr. Robert C. Brown)

No, Sir.

Mr. Gow

Is it not the case that since this special payment was introduced on 1st April 1974, its true value has been eroded by more than 50 per cent., and that a daily payment of 79p would now be required to bring it up to the level then decided by the Government? Does not the Minister owe it to our soldiers in Ireland to bring the payment up to the purchasing power that it had when first introduced?

Mr. Brown

It is true that bringing it up to its purchasing power when first introduced would mean that it would have to be 80p. However, having said that, I should add that the pay of the Armed Forces is governed by the Armed Forces Review Board, which is an independent body. We accepted all its recommendations last year, and they did not include a recommendation to increase this allowance.