UK

Labour Pledges Pay Increase For Military Personnel

The party leader Jeremy Corbyn is promising "fair pay" for the military.

The Labour Party is preparing to pledge to boost military pay and conditions.

The starting salary of an Army private has effectively been cut by nearly £1,200, according to latest figures.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is vowing to give "fair pay" to the military and end privatisation in the armed forces.

The pledge comes after the Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt said she was "determined" to ensure members of the military get a fair wage.

Both Mr Corbyn and Shadow Defence Secretary Nia Griffith will also propose a consultation on creating a body to represent the rights of service personnel.

The announcement is to be made ahead of Armed Forces Day, during a visit with military personnel in the north-east of England.

It comes as House of Commons Library research shows that after almost a decade of real terms pay cuts, a private's starting salary is £1,159 lower in real terms today than in 2010.

They were hired on £17,015 in 2010, which increased to £18,859 last year.

This represents a cut of 5.8% when considering the rising cost of living.

Anonymous personnel

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "We are committed to ensuring that our military personnel are rewarded for their service to this country.

"To further recognise the role of the Armed Forces, the Defence Secretary recently announced plans to ensure the lowest paid members receive a living wage."

Mr Corbyn said personnel and their families are "paying the price" after years of austerity: "It's about prospects for people in the services getting decent pay, and not seeing their standard of living falling during the time they're serving in our forces.

"The Police Federation have their voice in the police pay review body, we think the same should apply to all the armed services."

Also among the pledges are an improvement in housing for personnel and their families, and for better access to schools for their children.