Thousands of Ministry of Defence (MoD) ‘desk’ jobs should be cut to steer funding towards an immediate £6,000 pay rise for troops, the Liberal Democrats have said.
Party leader Nick Clegg said the junior ranks of the Armed Forces should get an immediate pay rise to help boost morale, the BBC has reported. The move, costing about £300m, could be part-funded by cutting 10,000 back-office jobs at the MoD.
Clegg said it was “shameful” that junior soldiers received less pay than junior police officers. All military personnel were awarded a 2.8% pay rise earlier this year, making the basic pay of a private on operations between £16,681 and £25,887.
For beginner police officers, rates of pay vary by force, but generally start at about £20,000 per year, rising with each year of experience.
The Liberal Democrats are also calling for longer-serving privates and lance corporals to receive a £3,000 pay rise, which would take their average annual pay up to about £25,000.
An MoD spokesman said pay recommendations came from the independent Armed Forces Pay Review Body, and in February it had accepted the 2.8% pay rise for all serving personnel – among the best in the public sector.