To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement about the pay of members of the Women's Royal Naval Service.
The Government have consulted the Armed Forces Pay Review Body (AFPRB) about the implications for pay of the decision announced earlier this year that members of the Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS) will in future be eligible to serve at sea. The AFPRB has recommended that from I April 1990 all WRNS non-commissioned personnel liable to serve at sea, whether as new entrants or as volunteers from among existing members of the WRNS, should receive the rates of basic pay already applicable to male ratings. The review body proposes that volunteers should be accepted as liable for sea service once they have completed a sea safety course.The Government have accepted these recommendations in full. WRNS officers already receive the same rates of basic pay as male officers of the Royal Navy.Members of the WRNS, in common with members of the other women's services, will continue to receive a rate of X factor 1 per cent. below that received by men. The AFPRB has stated that it intends to review this differential in its next report in the light of the initiatives being taken to widen the role of women in all three services.