Armed Forces Morale – Defence Question – 14/01/19

As befits a former teacher, of more than 30 years standing, the Honourable lady has been most patiently and courteously waiting for her opportunity. Thelma Walker Question number, question number 18, Mr Speaker. Minister. Mr Speaker, she is, the Honourable lady is right to raise concerns about the morale in our armed forces, the continuous attitude survey is critical for us to understand the views of our armed forces personnel. We often talk about training, we often talk about exercises and operations but the welfare of our personnel and their families is absolutely critical. I thank the Minister for his response. A recent survey of armed forces personnel, however, found that only 2 in 5 are satisfied with service life in general. This has been linked to low pay and poor quality accommodation. What is the government doing specifically to reverse the decline in our armed services morale? Well, as I mentioned in my opening remarks, it is a concern and we must address this. Pay has never been an issue in the armed forces, when I joined up, it wasn’t an issue. People don’t join the armed forces for the money
but we do not want it to become an issue and I was pleased that the pay freeze was lifted last year, 2% rise but also there’s efforts being made to improve the accommodation and also to provide flexible working, which is the main ingredient that forces people to depart because they are unable to spend enough time with their families. These changes have been introduced and I hope it will affect the morale of our armed forces.

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