I am today announcing the Government’s decision on pay rises for the Armed Forces.
The Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body (AFPRB) has made its recommendation for the 2018-19 pay award of 2.9%. We are accepting the spirit of this recommendation with a 2% increase to pay (implemented in September salaries, backdated to 1 April 2018) and, in addition, a 0.9% non-consolidated one-off payment (implemented later in the year, also back dated to 1 April 2018).
Today’s pay award will deliver an annual increase to starting salaries of £520 for an officer and £370 for a newly trained solider, sailor or airman or woman. This is in addition to the non-contributory pension and access to incremental pay progression.
The AFPRB has also made recommendations on rises and changes to other targeted forms of remuneration, and on increases to food and accommodation charges, which have been accepted. Where applicable, these rate changes will also be backdated to 1 April 2018.
The Government is committed to world class public services and ensuring that public sector workers are fairly paid for the vitally important work that they do. It is thanks to our balanced approach to public finances - getting debt falling as a share of our economy, while investing in our vital services and keeping taxes low - that we are today able to announce a fair and deserved pay rise for the Armed Forces, their biggest increase since 2010.
We ended the 1% average pay policy in September 2017, because we recognised more flexibility is now required to deliver world class public services including in return for improvements to public sector productivity.
We value the role of the independent Pay Review Bodies and thank them for their work in considering pay awards. In reaching a final position for 2018-19 public sector pay awards, we have balanced a need to recognise the value and dedication of our hard-working public servants whilst ensuring that our public services remain affordable in the long term, to contribute to our objective of reducing public sector debt. We have also sought to ensure that pay awards are fair and consistent across public sector workforces, reflect existing pay and benefit packages, in addition to recruitment and retention levels.
It is vital that we consider all pay awards in light of wider pressures on public spending. Public sector pay needs to be fair both for public sector workers and the taxpayer. Around a quarter of all public spending is spent on pay and we need to ensure that our public services remain affordable for the future.
It is also vital that our world class public services continue modernising to meet rising demand for the incredible services they provide, which improve our lives and keep us safe.