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Armed Forces: Food

Volume 468: debated on Monday 3 December 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average daily cost to the public purse was of food provided to a member of (a) the Army, (b) the Royal Navy and (c) the Royal Air Force in the most recent period for which figures are available. (168204)

The average daily cost, known as the daily messing rate (DMR), is based on a “basket” of nearly 100 basic catering items, and is calculated on a quarterly basis by applying prices obtained from the MOD's food supply contractor to the appropriate ration scale. The DMRs for 1 October 2007 to 31 December 2007 are as follows:

Army personnel: The DMR in their home posting is £1.63;

Royal Navy personnel: The DMR in port is £1.78 (unless on duty watch, when ‘at sea rates’ apply);

RAF personnel: The DMR at home bases is £1.63.

For personnel on active duty, such as on exercise, on operations or at sea, the rate can rise to £2.69 per day. These apparently low amounts are achieved by the scale of purchase of the 'basket items1 and the associated economy of scale. Furthermore, DMR is the cost of the raw materials only and does not include transport or other costs.