Parliament

The Labour Party is demanding the pay cap on the Armed Forces be scrapped.

It says the starting salary of an Army private has dropped by £1,000 in real terms since 2010 because of government policies.

The party will raise the issue in the House of Commons later today, as ministers come under increasing pressure to drop restrictions on millions of public sector workers.

The pay cap has become a significant political battleground following the government’s decision to grant police and prison officers settlements above the 1% limit.

However, Labour has insisted that due to inflation levels this still amounts to a pay cut, and has made calls for a better deal for public sector workers.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said:

 "This cruel pay cap is putting real pressure on forces personnel and their families."

"Along with rising rents in service accommodation and changes to tax credits, this government is trying to balance the books on the backs of our servicemen and women.

"This sorry state of affairs cannot be allowed to go on. It is high time for the government to do the right thing and give our armed forces a pay rise."

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn says the pay cap on the Armed Forces is "cruel". Picture: Paul New

Labour's shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith said:

 "Armed forces personnel have been leaving in droves, because this Government stubbornly refuses to reward their service with a proper pay award.

"We now have a real crisis in recruitment and retention across all three services. If this government were serious about addressing this it would scrap this harsh pay cap immediately."

"As well as doing the right thing by our servicemen and women, this is also about securing Britain's defence capabilities by ensuring that our armed forces continue to attract and retain the brightest and best."

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