HC Deb 11 March 1980 vol 980 cc1135-6
9. Mr. Neil Thorne

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will ask the Armed Forces Pay Review Body to review annually the new Territorial Army bounties and ensure that they are maintained permanently at a suitable level to reward these volunteers adequately.

Mr. Hayhoe

The effectiveness of these bounties will be kept under regular review to ensure that they are meeting their purpose, which is to encourage sufficient men to volunteer for and remain in the reserves. If there is evidence at any time that the bounties need to be increased it will be submitted to the Armed Forces Pay Review Body.

Mr. Thorne

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Whether this will be done soon enough for me to declare an interest remains to be seen. Is my hon. Friend satisfied with the results of the recent bounty increase and its effect on the Territorial Army?

Mr. Hayhoe

Yes. The results have been good. The latest figures show that at 31 December last year the Territorial Army strength was just under 62,000—an increase of 3,000 over the 12 months. The 62,000 figure is the best for TA strength since 1967.

Mr. J. Enoch Powell

When does the Minister expect that the announcement regarding the pay and conditions of, and bounty for the Ulster Defence Regiment will be forthcoming?

Mr. Hayhoe

Very soon.

Mr. Kershaw

Does my hon. Friend agree that the bounty is the most important factor that will increase numbers taken on and staying on? This is important in the Territorial Army. Will he press the bounty rather than other payment matters?

Mr. Hayhoe

We appreciate the importance of the bounty. My hon. Friend is right to draw attention to the need for retention as well as recruitment.

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