Money picture for pay rise article credit DBURKE Alamy Stock Photo 20072022 JW
Armed Forces personnel are set to receive increases to their salaries (Picture: Alamy).
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How much of a pay rise are the Armed Forces really getting?

Money picture for pay rise article credit DBURKE Alamy Stock Photo 20072022 JW
Armed Forces personnel are set to receive increases to their salaries (Picture: Alamy).

Increases in the rates of pay for military personnel have been announced by the Armed Forces Pay Review Body (AFPRB).

Essentially, the headline figures are that the most senior officers in the Armed Forces, one-star level and above, are getting a pay rise of 3.5%, whereas everybody else is getting 3.75%, backdated to April 2022.

However, the revised pay scales for members of the Armed Forces have come during the highest increase in the rate of inflation – the cost of everyday essentials like food and fuel – the UK has experienced in 40 years.

But just what do the newly announced pay rates mean for the men and women serving in Britain's Armed Forces?

Let's take a closer look...

Fresh out of training? Here's what you are going to be paid

The AFPBR has revised the pay scale for all ranks and within its report, the differences between last year's pay rates are detailed against the new. 

We have crunched the numbers and can reveal that for a newly passed out soldier, fresh in their unit, the pay rise awarded works out as an extra £64 per pay cheque.

That amounts to, in a typical month, £2.64 extra per day – less than the cost of a cup of coffee. 

These figures are pre-tax, which means the actual additional pay in your salary will be less, depending on how much tax you pay. 

What about officers?

In terms of the percentage increase in salary, officers ranked up to 2-star and above have been awarded slightly less than officers up to 1-star and their subordinates by the AFPRB.

Naturally, officers' pay scales are larger in value than other ranks (ORs), which means, in some instances, towards the upper end of the scale, the monetary increase in wages looks significant. 

Take an officer at the very top of the scale, OF Level 6-6, the actual pre-tax increase in pay works out as an additional £355 a month.

That's more than five times the extra money a soldier fresh out of training will be getting in their monthly payments. 

For a newly graduated officer fresh out of training, the revised pay scale results in a pre-tax pay rise of £88 per month or £2.94 a day.

How does the rise compare to inflation?

Announced on Wednesday, just a day after the AFPRB reported on the new rates of pay for military personnel, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that the UK's rate of inflation had reached 9.4% in the preceding 12 months. 

This means that everyday items in people's shopping baskets cost, on average, 9.4% more than they did last year. 

In an ideal world, average pay rises and the rate of inflation would exist in a more balanced position. But, right now, that's just not the case.

This has led to what has become commonly known as 'the cost-of-living crisis.' 

Obviously, the pre-tax 3.75% pay rise awarded to members of the Armed Forces is significantly less than the current UK rate of inflation, which means military personnel are worse off.

Watch: Defence Secretary on the cost of living and Armed Forces pay rise.

How does this pay rise compare to other public sector workers?

While 3.75% will be seen as good news in terms of additional money in salaries for members of the Armed Forces, it is less than what other public sector workers are campaigning for or have been awarded.

On the same day as the AFPRB announcement, ministers said that workers in the NHS were being awarded a pay rise of at least 4.5%.

Earlier this year, then Education Secretary Nadim Zahawi, who has since been appointed UK Chancellor, called for teachers to be awarded a 9% rise in pay by September.

It looks likely the amount will actually be 5%, but it's still more than the military.

On the railways, workers are taking strike action while they dispute the pay and conditions being offered by bosses. 

In Scotland, railway workers have already secured a 5% increase in wages, more than military personnel.

In a statement, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: "This pay award supports wider recruitment and retention and addresses the requirements of smaller but highly skilled Armed Forces whilst recognising affordability.

"Pay awards this year strike a careful balance between recognising the vital importance of public sector workers, whilst delivering value for the taxpayer, not increasing the country's debt further, and being careful not to drive even higher prices in the future."

In addition to the pay increase, the Ministry of Defence announced it has frozen the daily food charge for personnel and will be limiting the increase in accommodation charges to 1%.

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