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Armed Forces Pay

Volume 406: debated on Friday 23 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether British service personnel serving in the Gulf receive extra (a) pay and (b) allowances for going to war; and if he will make a statement. [109548]

Members of the United Kingdom armed forces have an expectation of world wide service in a wide variety of operations, including war service, and their pay and allowances are structured accordingly and reviewed annually by the Armed Forces Pay Review Body (AFPRB), an independent organisation.Service basic pay includes an additional element—the X Factor (currently 13 per cent. of basic pay and pensionable, for all ranks up to Lieutenant Colonel and equivalent at the mid pay point, beyond which it tapers) to reflect the differences between conditions of service experienced by members of the UK armed forces over a full career and conditions in UK civilian life. The X Factor was increased from 12 per cent. in the 2000 award. Various allowances are also payable, such as the Longer Separated Service Allowance (LSSA) and Longer Service at Sea Bonus (LSSB) to compensate personnel for time away from their permanent base and separation from their families.

As part of their 2003 Report (published on 7 February) the AFPRB recommended substantial above inflation increases to LSSA and LSSB and their attendant bonuses, as well as a reduction in the qualifying time for LSSA. Given the international situation existing at that time, the AFPRB requested that the changes to LSSA and LSSB be implemented from 1 March 2003, a month in advance of the normal implementation date for armed forces pay awards of

1 April. These recommendations, along with the remainder of the 2003 Report were accepted in full by the Government.