My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Defence (Des Browne) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
The 2008 report of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body (AFPRB) has now been published. I wish to express my thanks to the chairman and members of the review body for their report. I am pleased to confirm that the AFPRB's recommendations are to be accepted in full, with implementation effective from 1 April 2008.
In line with the AFPRB recommendations, the basic military salary for officers and all other ranks will increase by 2.6 per cent. In addition, the AFPRB has recommended an increase to X-Factor of 1 per cent and a restructuring to increase the amount of X-Factor paid to officers at lieutenant-colonel, colonel and brigadier (and equivalent) ranks.
The rates of specialist pay (including flying pay, submarine pay, diving pay and hydrographic pay) will also increase by 2.6 per cent. The Government have also accepted the AFPRB's recommendation to introduce additional targeted financial retention incentives for nuclear submarine watchkeepers, army vehicle mechanics, Royal Artillery, RAF Regiment gunners and firefighters and a new category of specialist pay for explosive ordnance disposal personnel to tackle specific recruitment and retention issues.
The Government remain committed to the independent pay review body process. This award is consistent with achievement of the Government's 2 per cent CPI inflation target which helps contribute to low and stable inflation, macroeconomic stability and economic growth.
Copies of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body report are available in the Vote Office and the Library of the House.