Politics

Military Salaries Included In Public Sector Pay Freeze

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a one-year Spending Review, which features a pause in pay rises for non-NHS public sector staff.

Some British military personnel will be affected by a pay freeze next financial year.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has presented a one-year Spending Review to the House of Commons, which features a pause in pay rises for public sector staff outside of the NHS.

Workers who earn more than £24,000-a-year will be affected, with those whose annual salaries are below that amount "guaranteed" a wage increase.

It is understood around 1.5 million people will be affected by the pay freeze, which is less tha 25% of public sector staff.

"To protect jobs, pay rises in the rest of the public sector will be paused next year," Mr Sunak said.

"The 2.1 million public sector workers who earn below the median wage of £24,000 will be guaranteed a pay rise of at least £250."

It means the majority of Armed Forces recruits and junior ranks are likely to get pay rises next year.

In 2019/20, under half of military personnel received incremental pay progression, separate to the Armed Forces Pay Award.

Pay progression, as well as overtime, performance pay, and salary increases relating to promotions, are exempt from the pay freeze.

Anonymous Army recruits

Mr Sunak highlighted a disparity between public sector and private sector wages, adding he "cannot justify a significant, across-the-board" pay increase for all public sector workers in the circumstances.

The Chancellor added that the "majority" of public sector workers will see their pay increase next year.

The Chancellor has gone from clapping for carers to giving them a pay freeze, Labour's Shadow Chancellor has said.

Responding to the Spending Review statement, Anneliese Dodds told the Commons: "Earlier this year the Chancellor stood on his doorstep and clapped for key workers.

"Today his Government institutes a pay freeze for many of them.

"This takes a sledgehammer to consumer confidence."

Armed Forces personnel have played a key role in the country's response to the coronavirus pandemic this year, including building NHS Nightingale hospitals and rolling out testing.

Last week, the Prime Minister pledged an extra £16.5bn for defence over the next four years, going into further detail about his vision for the future of the British military.

Cover image: Royal Navy.