OTLEY'S MP has challenged the Government to end an Armed Forces 'pay freeze'.

Alex Sobel (Lab, Leeds North West) condemned the current pay cap during an opposition day debate in Parliament last week.

The MP says the cap has actually resulted in a pay cut for Armed Forces personnel, with new figures showing that the starting salary of an Army Private has dropped by £1,000, in real terms, since 2010.

Mr Sobel cited the case of a former constituent - the wife of a serving member of the forces - to drive home his point.

He said: "(She) described to me the daily struggle that her family face in the light of the fact that her husband, a private in the Army, has not had a real-terms pay increase under this Government.

"In fact, figures from the Armed Forces Pay Review Body show that they have had a 5.3 per cent real-terms reduction in pay since 2010.

"As with many families of service personnel, they rely on this income due to the fact that a life in the military often stations families away from their support networks, with real financial and childcare implications.

"She recently received a letter from the Combined Accommodation Assessment System which outlines a year-on-year increase in the charges for their quarters.

"How does the Minister suggest that this family make ends meet as they face greater charges on the one hand and a real-terms pay cut on the other?"

Mr Sobel added: "Like most Members on both sides of the House, I am wearing a poppy to commemorate and honour those who have sacrificed their lives in the service of our country.

"The best way to honour those who put themselves at risk is to make sure that their families are not living hand to mouth."