asked the Secretary of State for Defence to what extent members of Her Majesty's Forces are having to claim rent and rate rebates.
The total number drawing rebates under the Forces' rent and rates rebate scheme on 31st December last was just under 7,500.
Is my hon. Friend aware how disturbing— indeed, shocking— I find his statement? Will he at the earliest possible moment call this matter to the attention of the Armed Services Pay Review Body to see whether we can get better remuneration in what I believe to be a most unsatisfactory state of affairs?
I do not agree that it is shocking. It is wrong that anyone should feel there is indignity involved in getting a rebate. The figures show that Service men do not live in a privileged position. I certainly agree that these figures are relevant to the decisions that the independent review body will be making in due course.