You really couldn't make this up, in the six months between April and October this year 50,000 Ministry of Defence officials, or civil servants have received £47 million in bonuses between them.
While our frontline troops have to go out and buy their own uniforms and kit to ensure they have the basic equipment they need and the average soldier only earns around £17,000 per year.
This is exactly why Nick Clegg was right to launch the Liberal Democrats campaign for fair pay for our troops some months back you can sign the petition here.
Over 51,000 (Over a Quarter of the Armed Forces) receive less in basic pay than a new recruit police constable or fire-fighter. The basic pay for the lowest paid Private is £16,681.
In comparison there are 85,000 civil servants within the Ministry of Defence, of which around 50,000 of them received a share of the £47 million in bonuses.
The government were quick to jump on cancelling training for the Territorial Army to save money, well I can see how £47 million could be saved Gordon, right here, right now.
How dare this Government short change our troops with crap pay, not enough personal kit and nowhere near the right kind or volume of actual equipment hardware such as helicopters or armoured personnel carriers while paying people who are salaried to do a job extra in bonuses.
Shame on this Labour government and every Labour MP.
13,000 lower-ranks personnel in the Armed Forces receive under £17,000 a year basic pay. Even with operational allowances, they receive less than a new recruit to the police force. The average hours worked by Junior Ranks according to the Armed Forces Pay Review Body was 46.2 hours during 2007-2008. Therefore £6.74 is the average hourly pay of a Private. There is an operational Allowance of £2,380 and Separation Allowance of £1,100 paid to all personnel on operations and no opportunities for overtime pay.
The Liberal Democrats proposals would bring the pay of the lower ranks in line with the hourly-rate of trainee and development-level Fire-fighters, as well as new-entrant police constables.
Under the Lib Dem proposals no service personnel would receive less basic annual pay than a new-entrant police constable or development-level fire-fighter.
A fully-trained Private would receive:- an average basic hourly wage of £9.44 from the current £6.74 per hour (£430 per week, an extra £115 a week)- The average pay across the ranks of Private and Lance Corporal would rise to around £25,000- An average basic hourly wage of £10.40 an hour from current £8.80 per hour amounting to £480 per week an extra £73 a week- Other Non-Commissioned Officers would receive pay rises of £20-30 per week (around £1000 per year depending on rank).
You can read more about the Liberal Democrats proposals here.
Dubious legality and unpardonable folly - I agree with the general consensus that *Road to Referendum* has been an excellent series that has hopefully presaged the broadcast media upping their game...