HL Deb 15 March 2002 vol 632 cc109-10WA
Lord Vivian

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why the Armed Forces Pay Review Body has to have regard to the Armed Forces pay being broadly comparable with pay levels in civilian life; and who imposed this ruling. [HL3180]

Lord Bach

Comparability with civilian levels of pay has been an element in the process of assessing the pay of the Armed Forces since 1958 when the adoption of recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Recruiting, under the chairmanship of Sir John Grigg, led to regular reviews of the pay of service personnel. Since its establishment in 1971, the Armed Forces Pay Review Body has always aimed to ensure that the rates of pay and allowances for servicemen and women, which it has recommended to the Government, have been based on broad comparability with those prevailing in civilian life. The use of this as an instrument for assessing the pay of the Armed Forces was acknowledged by its inclusion in the revised terms of reference which were agreed by AFPRB and the Government in 1998.

In its recommendations, however, the review body has always included an additional element—the X Factor (currently 13 per cent of basic pay for service personnel up to lieutenant colonels and equivalents at the mid-pay point beyond which it tapers)—to reflect the differences between conditions of service experienced by members of the UK Armed Forces over a full career and conditions in UK civilian life, which cannot be taken directly into account in assessing broad pay comparability.