§ 22. Mr. Hooson
asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will consider extending the payment of separation pay to everyone at sea regardless of how long they have been away or how far they are from home.
§ Mr. Duffy
No. Separation allowance is designed to provide some compensation to Service personnel for the personal and emotional disadvantages of separation from their wives because of reasons attributable to service at home or abroad: it would not therefore be possible to extend its payment to single personnel whether at sea or ashore. For married seagoers, sevice on board seagoing ships is by definition separated service unless the ship operates on a restricted day running basis or is otherwise able to grant regular weekend leave. As explained by my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Defence on 7th March 1978, there is a minimum qualifying period of continuous separation of 30 days.—[Vol. 945, c. 625.]