Sunday, July 21, 2024

This is an ARCHIVED article at Information and/or links may well be out of date.

The Armed Forces Pay Review Body (AFPRB) carries out a yearly review of armed forces pay, allowances and charges, in accordance with directions from the Government. It submits its recommendations to Government in time to be considered and, if accepted, brought into force from 1 April, the beginning of the next financial year.

When BAFF started, the eagerly-awaited recommendations came out in February or March.

In recent years the Government's approval and publication of the AFPRB report have, however, been taking place later and later. The AFPRB have repeatedly complained about this, saying in their latest published report (Oct 2021):

We are disappointed that this year’s round has been delayed, again. Our disappointment stems from the fact that we have been unable to deliver our recommendations to the government for them to be implemented on time, that is on 1 April. In the current year we feel especially that the ability to deliver a timely award, for those eligible, would have mitigated the impact of the ‘pay pause’. We hope that the delays we experienced in the receipt of evidence will not be repeated and that next year’s round follows a more conventional timetable.

As serving members will know, the Government has yet again delayed the annual pay award. The eventual increase will be backdated, so the delay wouldn't have mattered so much in times of low inflation, but that is no longer the case. The Consumer Prices Index rose by 9.2% in the 12 months to February 2023.

One of the reasons for the delay is said to be 'a behind-the-scenes effort' to add a specific extra element to this year's award, which will be revealed once finalised. We trust that the said effort is successful.

According to Sky News:

Military sources said the [delay] was particularly galling because soldiers, sailors and aviators are not allowed to strike over pay but are expected to backfill for other public sector workers, such as medics and border guards, who have been protesting for better conditions.