Times: "Thousands Of Troops In Line For Pay Boost - Review Body Recommends 3% Increase"

#1
Deborah Haynes, Defence Editor

May 28 2018

"Tens of thousands of troops are in line for an above-inflation pay rise as a defence minister called for more than £7 billion in extra funding.

Tobias Ellwood heightened pressure on the Treasury to increase military spending as he told The Times that Britain’s 137,000 full-time service personnel “deserve a pay rise”.

The independent body that assesses military salaries is understood to have recommended a pay increase of about 3 per cent for this financial year, according to a source with knowledge of the issue. Armed forces pay rises have either been frozen or capped at 1 per cent a year since 2010. The rate of inflation was 2.4 per cent last month.

Any easing of pay restraint rules would strain the Ministry of Defence’s overstretched budget yet further.

A 3 per cent salary boost would cost about £200 million a year, according to Malcolm Chalmers, deputy director-general at the Royal United Services Institute think tank. If repeated in future salary rounds, this could total £1.2 billion over three years.

If the Treasury decided against covering the extra expense the MoD would have to find the funding from its own budget, for instance by cutting troop numbers or equipment purchases. Philip Hammond, the chancellor, is already under pressure to fund proposed pay rises for nurses, doctors, policemen and prison officers. Mr Ellwood, 51, said he did not yet know the recommendations of the armed forces pay review body but that he hoped the government would honour them. He called for total defence spending to be increased “north of 2.5 per cent” of GDP, up from 2.14 per cent at present, to fund the full range of warships, jets, tanks and personnel that the MoD needed.

It is the first time that a government minister has identified a specific target for defence spending. Such a rise would equate to an extra £7.3 billion. “We must look after our people,” Mr Ellwood, the minister for defence people and veterans, said. “Nobody joins the armed forces for the money as such, but we must avoid pay being an issue as to why they would be deterred from it.”

He added: “There needs to be a pay rise. We have still got to conclude the defence modernisation programme but you would need to move north of 2.5 per cent to make any of this work, if you want to retain the same defence posture given the dangers, the complexities of the world that we face.”

Military trades suffering a particular shortage of personnel, such as Royal Navy engineers, could receive pay rises higher than 3 per cent, according to the source.The Times understands that the headline conclusions of the defence modernisation programme are due to be announced in early July. Specific details on the funding question, including any pay rise announcement, are not expected until Mr Hammond presents his budget in November at the earliest. Mr Ellwood’s intervention will increase pressure on Mr Hammond, a former defence secretary, to find more money for his old department.

The MoD is struggling to close a hole of £20 billion in its budget over the next decade for new equipment alone. There is a concern that a longer-term settlement may not be forthcoming from the Treasury until next year. The Treasury has signalled a willingness to relax the 1 per cent pay cap, though, particularly when there are skill shortages.

The pay review body, whose chairman is John Steele, a former group personnel director at BT, bases its recommendations upon evidence, including on affordability, given by MoD officials and the military.

The need to improve recruitment and retention would influence any decision to increase pay, Professor Chalmers said. A recent National Audit Office report said that the military was short of more than 8,000 personnel, the biggest deficit in a decade. Professor Chalmers noted, though, that the MoD had been banking on saving £700 million by 2021 by maintaining the 1 per cent pay cap to fund a 2015 review of defence and security.

An MoD spokesman said: “The armed forces pay review body’s recommendations for the 2018 pay award are being considered by the government and an announcement will be made in due course.”"

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/thousands-of-troops-in-line-for-pay-boost-23gwj5q07
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#2
An MoD spokesman said: “The armed forces pay review body’s recommendations for the 2018 pay award are being considered by the government and an announcement will be made in due course.”"
They've already saved a few million quid by delaying this year's pay award by a couple of months so far, if they hold out further, the delay will pay for any supposed "increase".
 
#3
They've already saved a few million quid by delaying this year's pay award by a couple of months so far, if they hold out further, the delay will pay for any supposed "increase".
In the past they would backdate it to the 1st April. If they wait until the budget then you can bet that the payrise will be in April 2019. Perhaps it could be paid out of the overseas aid budget? With all the deployments going on to far flung countries to provide assistance then it is only fair to use that money
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#4
In the past they would backdate it to the 1st April. If they wait until the budget then you can bet that the payrise will be in April 2019. Perhaps it could be paid out of the overseas aid budget? With all the deployments going on to far flung countries to provide assistance then it is only fair to use that money
Payrises are seldom backdated. Historically, whenever delayed, they are staged over the 12 months.

When Soames was Minister of State for the Armed Forces I remember he visited 7R PO's mess on Illustrious, mid 1990s. My oppo had just taken over from me as Mess Pres.

"Would you like a pint?" He asked Soames. "Yes please" he replied.

Dave poured him a half of CSB in a pint pot, handed it to him & said; "You can have the other half of the bastard in November when we get the other half of our pay rise".

The mess fell silent. To be fair, Soames thought it was funny. He still left without the other half.

That's gen, by the way.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#6
It's already been agreed that this years pay deal will be back dated. There is good reason why it's been held, there may be more than one reason for happiness......
My bet is it will be partially back-dated with a staged increase later in the year or over the coming years so another government can be criticised when forced to rescind it.

I'd be delighted to be proven wrong, let's see. :)
 

wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
#10
The difficulty with the possible 3% is that the treasury will only cough up 1% , with the rest coming from ‘single service savings’, if at all.
Not sure where that comes from but it's not what I understand.

All military salaries and pensions come from the annually approved budget (CT) - the same budget for equipment and infrastructure, any approved increase comes from HMT and is an increase to that CT.

So your premise of MoD paying the additional 2% would see that money come from equipment/infra where HMT are holding MoD to account. Doesn't square. Equally doesn't mean that's not what HMT have directed but it would be very odd.
 
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Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#11
When you look at how long we endured the public sector pay freeze and have consistently been lagging behind the claimed rate of inflation, it'll be interesting to see the eventual outcome.

The New Entry rate of pay may sound great to a sixteen year old but less than £15k is a derisory wage for someone joining the service aged 30+, shackled with standard financial commitments of people that age. Our recruiting demographic reflects a shift toward a broader spectrum of ages and an increasing number of graduates joining as ratings.

We are seriously competing against the private sector in terms of recruitment. Despite the claims of the anti-Brexit doom-merchants the civilian job market is bouyant and that seriously buggers-up recruiting for the Armed Forces offering a piss-poor starting wage.
 

wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
#12
When you look at how long we endured the public sector pay freeze and have consistently been lagging behind the claimed rate of inflation, it'll be interesting to see the eventual outcome.
Undeniably true, but Defence doesn't win votes until there is a war on....

Ninja_Stoker said:
The New Entry rate of pay may sound great to a sixteen year old but less than £15k is a derisory wage for someone joining the service aged 30+, shackled with standard financial commitments of people that age. Our recruiting demographic reflects a shift toward a broader spectrum of ages and an increasing number of graduates joining as ratings.
And therein is an issue to consider - graduates joining as Ratings is nothing new but the vast majority I encountered in my first 3 years doing chalk/talk very quickly converted to Officer. Wasted time in the pipeline, left gaps etc etc, maybe more effort needed to look at that. Equally having looked at the this from my eldest perspective the jobs market is so competitive outside lots of graduates take 2-3 years to get permanent jobs, maybe £15k isn't bad start compared to minimum wage and lots of debt? Perhaps equally applicable to a 30 year old who wants a reset and is prepared for 2-3 years of a lower bottom line.

Ninja_Stoker']We are seriously competing against the private sector in terms of recruitment. Despite the claims of the anti-Brexit doom-merchants the civilian job market is bouyant [/quote] In the main I won't disagree but the colorably to that is the number of people I know personally who've left and struggle to get regular said:
and that seriously buggers-up recruiting for the Armed Forces offering a piss-poor starting wage.
Depends what your qualifications and aspirations are doesn't it - if you're on an accelerated apprenticeship (can we call them tiff yet?] you can be on £31k in 2-3 years, that's seriously good news.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#13
Depends what your qualifications and aspirations are doesn't it - if you're on an accelerated apprenticeship (can we call them tiff yet?] you can be on £31k in 2-3 years, that's seriously good news.
Believe it or not, Accelerated Apprentices actually start on £31K and are rated probationary Leading Rates upon joining. It seriously makes people think again about going to uni and racking-up £45K debt (average) with a starting wage of £25K with a Commission. And no, we probably aren't allowed to call them Tiffs until the SO1 bright spark that uninvented them retires. Same thing happened with the "Catering Services Food Preparation" bonehead.
graduates joining as Ratings is nothing new but the vast majority I encountered in my first 3 years doing chalk/talk very quickly converted to Officer. Wasted time in the pipeline, left gaps etc etc, maybe more effort needed to look at that.
I'm afraid I certainly don't hold with the assumption a degree = a commission nowadays. The university experience may well give 3 years experience of independent living, time management skills, possibly work experience and 3 years more maturity over a sixth form leaver but more and more ratings specialisations offer a degree at virtually zero cost in any case. True, many may later go on to pass AIB.

There are plenty of graduate Other Ranks/Ratings who are happy not be be commissioned. We had one Other Rank troop of Royal Marines numbering 17 out of 50 with degrees and a further 20 of them qualified educationally for Officer. In fact 40% of Royals join qualified for Officer but content themselves with being an Other Rank, presumably as there's more opportunity to stab a baddie in the face :)
 
#14
I would point out there is a significant difference between being educationally qualified to be an Officer, and actually being an Officer.

To quote a Royal Marine I know: "we need Officers, not just bright bootnecks"...
 
#15
I would point out there is a significant difference between being educationally qualified to be an Officer, and actually being an Officer.
Agree, also there is a difference to being educationally qualified to be an Officer, and actually wanting to be an Officer. As many a Tiff would attest to.
I for one, was very happy being an hands on section head and did not even want to be a Charge Chief (although did do a stint as WEO of a MCMV and got best / worst of both worlds).
One of my reasons for not taking Extended Service when offered was the knowledge that I wouldn't be able to dodge Charge course.
18 years after leaving and spending 14 of that as a Project Engineer I am still most happy with a spanner, screwdriver (or name your implement of choice) in my hand.
It was not a lack of ambition - just a different mind set. Many of my Fisgard counterparts took the Officer career route - one became XO of Cochrane (never would have thought that when he was stood in front of Commanders Table at Collingwood!)
 
#17
I was the same as Taztiff although I never joined up as a tiff, I did end up as one. I took the extra 10 years and managed to avoid Charge Chief :)

Being an officer didn't appeal to me one little bit, ERC cards,maintenance cards and writing 2022s was enough paperwork for me.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#18
I would point out there is a significant difference between being educationally qualified to be an Officer, and actually being an Officer.

To quote a Royal Marine I know: "we need Officers, not just bright bootnecks"...
With you all the way on that. Many is the time a young graduate minces into an AFCO assuming their qualifications and clipped accent means they are destined for higher things.

Incidentally, at the recruiting coal face (maybe not yet in the fleet) we actually have a surplus of Warfare Officer candidates for the first time I can recall in fifteen years.
 

wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
#20
I'm afraid I certainly don't hold with the assumption a degree = a commission nowadays. The university experience may well give 3 years experience of independent living, time management skills, possibly work experience and 3 years more maturity over a sixth form leaver but more and more ratings specialisations offer a degree at virtually zero cost
I don't believe I made any assumptions. I commented on actual experience of people who joined not wanting to be Officers or having been steered down the Rating route only to Commission 2-3 years later. I had the same as a member of BRNC staff with two entrants being bussed from Raleigh.
 
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