Early withdrawal from Afghanistan? Early redundancy for soldiers?
Articles in the The Times and Telegragh today have Mr Hammond talking about early withdrawal from Afghanistan.
At the same time as considering the future of the Afghan people, Mr Hammond should be considering and supporting the future of the service men and women who have risked their lives time and again for his and other government policies in the region And PAY THEM THE PENSIONS THEY HAVE EARNED AND DESERVE!
Early withdrawal could also mean early compulsory redundancy for many of these troops. In the last tranche of cuts in June, some 50 service personnel were made redundant within a year of reaching their pension point. My brother included, he will be 82 days short having served nearly 16 years and three long tours on the front line.
These men and women are losing out on 80% of their pensions. The governemnt line is that they are receiving a “significantly increased redundancy package” but this is worth only 20% of the pension they have accrued to date and were promised. Is the MoD unable to add up? Or think the soldiers and their families can’t add up?
The treasury is saving thousands of pounds on the backs of “the warrior generation”, as the Chief of General Staff has described this cohort of soldiers, who have seen more active service than any since World War II.
The question is, is this a deliberate policy by the treasury to save thousands of pounds off the backs of these soldiers? Or just an oversight in the way the redundancy and pension schemes interact? Not enough modelling done prior to these announcements? Probably the later, as Mr Hammond admitted to me personally in a letter in July that he had been badly briefed prior to a defence committee meeting regarding the redundancy issue and had made a “mistake” in his statement and was therefore forced to issue a “corrected statement” to the defence committee.
Other mistakes and oversights may also have been made. That is why we are calling for a review of these cases and the redundancy scheme to ensure these soldiers and their families and future soldiers in the coming two tranches of cuts don’t suffer the same financial turmoil.
Please sign the epetiton and pass on to friends if you can.
The ordinary Afghan people deserve a better and more secure life, and I believe most definitely the ordinary soldiers and their families who have fought so loyally to that end also deserve a financially secure and stable life.
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