THE TORY Government has been urged to offer the armed forces a pay rise after analysis revealed a real-terms wages cut over the last ten years.

SNP armed forces spokesperson, Carol Monaghan, has called on UK ministers to offer a credible pay increase.

The call comes after its found that between 2010/11 and 2020/21, the annual pay of those on a starting salary with a rank of private and captain or equivalent, has experienced a real-term decrease of 0.5 per cent or £108 and 6.5% or £2,965 respectively.

The SNP has also highlighted that armed forces personnel had their pay frozen during the pandemic despite playing a crucial role in the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine, as well as the evacuation efforts in Afghanistan following its fall to the Taliban.

Ms Monaghan said: “Throughout the pandemic, our serving personnel have been instrumental in the delivering of essential public services.

“Not only have they facilitated the vaccine rollout, but they have also dealt with the on-ground fallout of the UK government’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“However, despite these incredible efforts, over the past decade, personnel have faced longstanding pay freezes and real term income cuts.“ She added: “It is no wonder that this Tory government is failing year on year to recruit and retain armed forces personnel. This trend will sadly continue unless fairer terms and conditions, including salaries, are introduced.

“I urge the UK Government to lift the current pay freeze and restore pay to, at the very least, the levels in place before the Tories came into power.”

UK Defence People and Veterans Minister Leo Docherty said it was “very important to take armed forces pay in the round”.

He added: “Service personnel benefit from subsidised food and accommodation, from a fantastic non-contributory pension and of course, allowances on top of this.

“It’s a little bit rich getting lessons on armed forces pay from the SNP, given that they’ve hiked tax on service personnel in Scotland to the tun of £580 per person. It’s just as well the MoD is making up the difference.”