HL Deb 20 April 2004 vol 660 cc24-5WA
Lord Jopling

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What were the levels of the reservist standard award for the mobilised members of the Army Reserve and the Territorial Army over each of the past 10 years for the ranks of Private, Sergeant and Captain; and what recognition is made in each case of income lost during the period of active service. [HL2404]

Lord Bach

Reservists are called-out under the authority of the Reserve Forces Act 1996 (RFA 96) which governs the use of the Reserve Forces. RFA 96 provides reservists with certain safeguards which include the right for a reservist to seek exemption from, or deferral of, call-out and the right to claim financial assistance. The latter takes account of the difference, within certain banded limits, between the reservist's civilian and military salaries. This assistance is paid in the form of a reserve standard award (RSA); RSA is paid in banded rates that are related to a reservist's rank and specialisation. The current rates are set out in the Reserve Forces (Call-out and Recall) Financial Assistance Regulations (Statutory Instrument 1997/309) and are shown in the table below:

Band Rank or category Band maximum (per annum)
1 The rank of Corporal and below £22,500
2 The rank of Sergeant through to Captain inclusive £37,500
3 The rank of Major or Lieutenant Colonel £55,000
4 The rank of Colonel or Brigadier or a member of specialist category I (medical officers or aircrew) £70,000
5 The rank of Major General and above or a member of specialist category II (consultants) £153,000

In cases of special need, reservists may also apply for a reserve hardship award (RHA) if the RSA alone would cause financial hardship. RHA is calculated on essential expenditure rather than actual earnings and evidence of expenditure must be provided. There is no ceiling for RHA payments. As taxpayers' money is involved, the Ministry of Defence must have evidence of the outgoings before any such payment can be made. Should a reservist be dissatisfied with the Ministry of Defence's decision in any given case, they have a right to appeal to an independent Reserve Forces Appeals Tribunal.

RFA 96 and supporting legislation did not come into force until 1997. The current rates of RSA have remained unchanged since then. Prior to 1997, neither RSA or RHA were available to reservists.

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