Email that I sent to my MP and his response: Dear Mr , During the televised leaders debates Mr Clegg brought up the fact that a soldier who has just passed out from training receives annual pay of about 6K less than his/her counterpart in the police and fire service. I see in the recently published document â€˜Policy by policy the coalition governments plansâ€™ there is no mention of this matter even though Mr Clegg spoke strongly about this disparity, I cannot recall his exact words they were to the effect that it is a national disgrace. Could you please tell me if there is any government plans to deal with this issue? I also see it as an absolute disgrace when our Armed Forces are engaged in war fighting in Afghanistan and I have little doubt that the rest of the country would agree with me. Respectfully yours, Response: Thanks for your email. The coalition agreement is at http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consu...[email protected][email protected] I enclose the coalition agreement on defence below. This includes the commitment to â€œdouble the operational allowance for Armed Forces personnel serving in Afghanistan, and include Armed Forces pay in our plans for a fair pay review.â€ Obviously the Liberal Democrat idea of not fully replacing Trident would have left greater room for manoeuvre in the defence budget. But as you are probably aware and as is explained below, the Lib Dems have the ability in the agreement to continue to argue for more cost effective alternatives to Trident. I think there is a big danger that the defence budget will become too dominated by Trident when we need to mostly fight conventional wars and support our armed forces in their pay and conditions. Nevertheless I am committed to continue to campaign for better pay, especially for privates and able seamen. When researching this I found that there are jobs stacking shelves in supermarkets that pay more than privates and able seamen get paid and I canâ€™t believe that is right. And if coalition does not act on this, Nick Clegg and David Cameron can be assured that I will there pushing for a better deal for our armed forces. The Liberal Democrats and I believe the coalition Government is committed to restoring the â€œmilitary covenantâ€ and paying our armed forces who put their lives on the line better and I will continue to campaign for the Government to do that. I will also campaign for better conditions and accomodation for our armed forces. I hope this helps. Best wishes Finknottle: I would have hoped that during the horse trading between the Lib Dems and Tories the Lib Dem negotiators would have given no ground regarding this issue, sadly this was not the case.