British troops are facing a delay in their pay rises due to 'government red tape'. They have been waiting to find out whether the 1% cap on military wage increases will be lifted.
The announcement was previously scheduled for April, but it has now been reported that troops could have to wait a further two months.
Lord West, the former head of the Royal Navy, told the Daily Telegraph that the delay sent a "very bad message".
Meanwhile, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary Nia Griffith said that the delay was “completely unacceptable”.
Whilst on Twitter she said: “Shocking to hear of delay to this year's Armed Forces pay rise. Defence Secretary should sort asap, instead of squabbling with the Chancellor.”
In a letter written to the Chair of the Armed Forces Pay Reform Body, Mr Williamson said: "The MOD will provide evidence papers in the coming weeks…noting the inconvenience of the changed timeline and implications for a deferred announcement of the award after 1 April."
The news comes shortly after the Defence Secretary was embroiled in a row with Chancellor Philip Hammond over his use of military jets.
Williamson has since played down the disagreement, stating that he looks forward to working with the Chancellor and Prime Minister Theresa May in ensuring the nation’s security.
The full letter can be seen below:
In response, a Treasury spokesperson said: “Our forces personnel are among the most extraordinarily talented and hard-working people in our society. The independent armed forces pay and review body has been asked to begin its annual process of assessing armed forces pay for the next year.
“This is in line with all public-sector staff covered by a pay review body and has occurred in the past. Any pay award will be backdated so that nobody is financially worse off.”