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Armed Forces: Allowances

Volume 684: debated on Friday 14 July 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Which targeted allowances for the Armed Forces are expected to generate savings with the introduction of the joint personnel administration system so that the changes are broadly cost neutral.[HL6804]

As part of the introduction of joint personnel administration (JPA) a number of new allowances have been introduced and some old allowances have had their policy changed. Both of these actions have, in some instances, generated savings to offset increased provision in other areas and so ensure that the overall allowance package is broadly cost neutral. The new/revised allowances which may produce savings include:

Female Clothing Grants

Civilian Clothing Grants (Hot Posts)

Compensation for Lost and Damaged Effects

Local Overseas Allowance

Get You Home (Overseas)

Get You Home (Islands)

Northern Ireland Journeys

Northern Ireland Resident's Supplement

Recruitment and Retention Allowance (London)

Disturbance Allowance

Removal Expenses

Separation Allowances

Get You Home (Early Years)

Get You Home (Seagoers)

Subsistence Allowances

Missed Meal Payments

Special Messing Allowance

Northern Ireland Compensatory Food Allowance

Home to Duty Travel (Public) and (Private)

It should be noted that some of the above allowances will be affected by other policy changes which will increase the costs of the allowance package; hence in some instances the net result may be an increase.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the new harmonised Armed Forces allowances are broadly cost neutral for each individual service.[HL6805]

The harmonised Armed Forces allowances package is broadly cost neutral. However, in the short term across all three services there will be individuals who receive additional financial benefit and those who receive less; indeed, there may well be individuals who see an immediate increase in one allowance that they receive and a reduction in another. The financial effect on individual service personnel depends entirely on what allowances they are eligible to claim at any point in their service career. This is clearly dependent upon their particular circumstances at that time.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What process of consultation with members of the Armed Forces was undertaken before the introduction of the new harmonised allowances; and what surveys are planned to test the success of the new schemes and the new joint personnel administration system.[HL6806]

The new harmonised allowances were introduced with the full involvement and agreement of the single service principal personnel officers, and their allowances policy staff.

The extent of administrative savings delivered by the joint personnel administration (JPA) system will be continually assessed through the key performance targets for pay and other services delivered by the Armed Forces Personnel Administration Agency.The JPA project will also be subject to a formal post-project evaluation.