Backdown on allowances but pay offer will stay

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has ruled out reversing the effective pay cut for Defence families, despite a partial backdown on allowances on Monday.

Mr Abbott promised only that Defence Force staff would get the "highest" pay increase of any public servants next year, at the previous 1.5% rise, which is less than expected inflation.

Rejecting appeals from Senator Jacqui Lambie on the issue, he said Christmas, travel and food allowances would not be cut. But the decision came after talks with Coalition backbenchers and not Sen Lambie.

Mr Abbott said the original Defence tribunal decision would not be reversed.


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