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Volume 938: debated on Monday 7 November 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will publish in the Official Report how far behind the civil sector, in percentage terms, services pay has fallen since 1st March 1974.

In normal circumstances the Armed Forces Pay Review Body looks at a range of analogues as between the Armed Forces and outside rates of pay and, after considering these and other factors, recommends comparable rates of pay for comparable work. This was last done in the Review Body's 1975 Report. In its two most recent reports, however, the Review Body, whilst recommending the maximum increase possible under pay policy, confined itself to a statement that Armed Forces pay had fallen markedly short of the levels justified by outside evidence, but did not quantify the extent of the shortfall. I am therefore unable to express in percentage terms the extent to which services pay has fallen behind the relevant civil sector comparators since 1st March 1974.