I would like to thank all hon. and right hon. Members for their contributions to the Opposition day debate about armed forces pay held on 1 November 2017. The passionate and constructive comments of Members regarding pay, allowances, pensions and accommodation clearly demonstrated this House’s support for our armed forces.
The armed forces are among the most extraordinarily talented and hardworking people in our society. We can all be rightly proud that we have the most professional and effective armed forces in the world. The Government are committed to ensuring that the overall package they, and other public sector workers receive, reflects the value we place on their work.
The 2015 spending review and autumn statement budgeted for 1% average basic pay and progression pay awards. However, the Government recognise that in some parts of the public sector, more flexibility may be required, particularly in areas of skill shortage and in return for improvements to public sector productivity. There continues to be a need for pay discipline over the coming years to ensure the affordability of the public services and the sustainability of public sector employment.
Armed forces’ pay levels are recommended by the independent Armed Forces Pay Review Body. The Government value hugely the role of the pay review bodies, and with a more flexible pay policy it is more important than ever that their recommendations are based on independent advice and robust evidence. They are in the process of considering evidence to inform their recommendations for the 2018 report which we look forward to receiving in due course.