Layla Moran has slammed the Government after it was revealed that there won’t be any funding provided to increase pay for armed forces personnel – or any other public sector workers.
Stephen Lovegrove, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence was giving evidence to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee inquiry into skills shortages in the armed forces yesterday afternoon (4th June).
Responding to a question on whether the Ministry of Defence would fund pay rises for armed forces personnel through an increase in the Ministry’s budget or from existing budgets, Mr Lovegrove admitted that “there is no indication from the Treasury that we will receive additional funds, nor is there any indication that any other Department will receive additional funds.”
Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran, who sits on the committee, said she was shocked to hear the admission.
She has been campaigning in recent weeks for the Government to provide new funding to pay for teachers pay rises, to avoid the money coming from other parts of school budgets which are already at breaking point.
Commenting, Public Accounts Committee member Layla Moran said:
“This revelation is a real kick in the teeth for our armed forces and other public sector workers like teachers, police and those working in the probation service who have put up with pay restraint for years and who are long overdue a decent pay rise, especially in Oxfordshire where the cost of living is so high.
“The Government are quick to take credit for lifting the 1% pay cap, but allowing pay rises without any new money to fund them just means existing budgets get cut even further to find the money needed for these pay rises.
“We’ve seen this already with schools where last year pay increases for teachers were funded out of already hard-pressed budgets. If this happens again this year then it could tip many schools over the edge.
“The Prime Minister and the Chancellor really must re-think this policy to avoid more disastrous cuts to public services and our defence capabilities as a result of giving our armed forces and public sector staff a decent pay rise.”