National secretary Steve Jary said: “First, these bonuses represent 2.8% of the pay bill which has been removed from basic pay progressively over the last eight years. This is in-line with 20 years of government policy to increase the use of performance pay in the civil service.
“Second, if civil servants were not doing some of the work in MOD, it would be done by military staff - at twice the cost to the taxpayer.
“Third, the purchase and supply of military equipment is undertaken by teams made up of civil servants and military officers. The majority of these teams are headed by military officers. If you believe they are under-performing, make sure you take the military hierarchy to task as well.
The union says newspapers have repeated ill-informed comments about the ratio of civil servants to the armed forces. In fact MOD is more tightly staffed than it was in 1997 by 30%. The number of civilians has dropped three times as fast as the number of service personnel.
“Civilian servants are deployed in Afghanistan in large numbers – intelligence analysis, operational research, logistics – which of these ‘pen pushers’ does not deserve our respect,” said Jary.