Army privates have lost over a thousand pounds a year in real terms since the Conservative-Liberal Democrat alliance took power in 2010
TORIES dismissed calls from Labour yesterday to give troops a “fair” pay rise.
Shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith told the Commons that the starting salary of an army private had been cut by more than £1,000 in real terms since 2010.
And officers starting out next year can expect to earn as little as £14,819.
MPs heard that army numbers have dwindled from more than 100,000 in 2010, to 77,600 this year.
Ms Griffith warned that “dissatisfaction with pay” was a key reason behind personnel leaving.
She said: “Is it any wonder, then, that the government finds itself presiding over a crisis in recruitment and retention?”
However Tory former defence minister Anna Soubry said that soldiers’ pay is “not on the list” of the government's concerns.
And fellow Tory MP Johnny Mercer, a former captain, also dismissed the issue.
“It’s simply disingenuous to say that there is a military out there that is deeply disaffected with how much they are paid,” he said.
But Ms Griffith pointed out that the armed forces pay review body had talked about frustrations over pay, shooting back: “I do think we're living on different planets.”