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|Service Personnel to have their Pay cut|
SIX former Armed Forces chiefs are today calling on George Osborne to reverse his "unjust" pay cut for Britain’s war-weary troops in next week’s Budget.
Writing an open letter in The Sun, the top brass say the Chancellor’s one per cent cap on wage rises, effectively a cut with inflation taken into account, will shatter the already fragile morale of Our Boys and Girls.
They say our war zone heroes are being treated shamefully — especially compared to Brits on benefits.
In the letter to the Chancellor, the six ex-forces chiefs say his one per cent pay cap for troops is "particularly inappropriate" at a time when welfare payouts are rising by 5.2 per cent.
They insist lumping troops in with other state workers facing the cap is wrong when thousands are facing mortal danger on Afghanistan’s front line. And they are urging Mr Osborne to exempt the soldiers in next week’s Budget.
The six are former Chiefs of the Defence Staff Lord Guthrie, Lord Boyce and Lord Craig, legendary ex-Army boss Lord Dannatt, ex-First Sea Lord Lord West and former RAF chief Sir Peter Squire.
The powerful broadside from such a renowned group is the most high-level and outspoken attack yet on the Government’s handling of the military.
Suffering It came a week after six soldiers were killed by a Taliban bomb in the worst loss of life for British forces in a ground attack since the Afghan conflict began.
Lord Guthrie told The Sun last night that the "suffering" of our troops had not been recognised by Mr Osborne. He added: "He is treating them like all the rest. They aren’t. They are special and should be treated like that."
Mr Osborne announced the controversial pay cap — on all public sector salary increases between 2013 and 2015 — in his Autumn Statement last November.
It came on top of a freeze on all military salaries over £21,000 in 2012/13.
Analysis of MoD data by The Sun shows it would cost the Chancellor a relatively modest £231million to dump the cap for troops.
Last night the Treasury said it had already doubled an operational allowance and reduced council tax bills for troops in danger zones.
The cap will also not stop servicemen and women progressing into higher pay bands through length of service.
A new Army private is paid just £17,265 a year, more than £8,000 below the average national wage.
Last edited by Phil Beacall
It must be accepted as a principle that the rifle, effective as it is, cannot replace the devastation produced on the enemy by the speed of the horse, the magnetism of the charge, and the terror of cold steel. - British Army Cavalry training manual 1907