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Armed Forces: Pay

Volume 699: debated on Thursday 28 February 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Taylor of Bolton on 21 January (WA 2), what was the total of the 50,764 underpayments made in 2007 to Armed Forces personnel; and [HL1560]

Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Taylor of Bolton on 21 January (WA 2), what was the greatest single underpayment to any one service man or woman in 2007; and what was the greatest single overpayment in the same year; and [HL1561]

Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Taylor of Bolton on 21 January (WA 2), whether all pay errors made in 2007 in relation to Armed Forces personnel have been rectified; and whether comparable errors in 2008 will be avoided.[HL1562]

The total sum underpaid, the greatest single underpayment made in 2007, and the greatest single overpayment made in the same year are not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

I can confirm that all identified under and overpayments of salary that occurred during 2007 have been rectified. Any underpayments are rectified at the earliest opportunity, usually the following month. Overpayments are recovered in accordance with service regulations. Where underpayments would result in hardship, units are able to provide interim payments to individuals.

The majority of the pay errors are due to late or incorrect human input. Error rates will reduce as familiarity with the new system grows. There is no complacency and the MoD acknowledges that all such errors should be eliminated if at all possible.