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Armed Forces: Morale

Volume 652: debated on Monday 14 January 2019

The hon. Lady is right to raise concerns about morale in our armed forces. The continuous attitude survey is critical for us to understand the views of our armed forces personnel. We often talk about training, exercises and operations, but the welfare of our personnel and their families is critical.

I thank the Minister for his response. A recent survey of armed forces personnel found that only two in five are satisfied with service life in general. That has been linked to low pay and poor-quality accommodation. What are the Government doing specifically to reverse the decline in our armed forces’ morale?

As I mentioned in my opening remarks, that is a concern, and we must address it. Pay has never been an issue in the armed forces. When I joined up, it was not an issue. People do not join the armed forces for the money, but we do not want it to become an issue. I was pleased that the pay freeze was lifted last year, with a 2% rise. Effort is also being made to improve accommodation and provide flexible working, which is the main ingredient that forces people to depart, because they are unable to spend enough time with their families. Those changes have been introduced, and I hope they will affect the morale of our armed forces.