asked the First Lord of the Admiralty why he has cut the local overseas allowance for officers of lieutenant-commander's rank and below in Malta, while this allowance has been raised in Cyprus and Gibraltar.
Local overseas allowance is paid to compensate for the additional cost of living overseas which is, of course, variable. The cost of living in the U.K. having on the whole risen more than the cost of living in Malta since the last rate was fixed, married officers of the ranks in question have suffered some reduction. This is mainly due to the marked decrease in the difference between rents in Malta and the U.K.
Does the lessened allowance apply only to lieut.-commanders and below that rank in Malta, in view of the fact that the rate for chief petty officers has been put up to exactly the same as for captains, both of them being considerably higher than for commanders?
I think that my hon. and gallant Friend is incorrect in that. I think he will find that though alterations had been made previously there was a special decision, for which he asked the reasons, and he has been given an answer.