London: Thousands of injured British troops or those unfit for combat duties, including those from the frontline in Afghanistan and Iraq, are to be eased out of the armed forces amid growing pressure on public finances, a
news report has said.
Even as Kevan Jones, the Veterans’ Minister, defended
the plan, senior military sources claimed that it was designed
to ease out injured and sick "bed blockers" from the Ministry
of Defence (MoD) payroll.
"Up to now it has usually been possible to find odd
jobs for these people. Now they are blocking the recruitment
of young, fit soldiers and have to be medically discharged
because no extra money can be found to pay them," a senior
officer in the personnel department was quoted as saying by
the Sunday Times.
The plan, which will be unfurled this autumn, aims to
target between 5,000 and 6,000 service personnel who have been
identified as medically unfit but are still on the payroll,
the report in the British daily said.
Details of what the MoD will offer injured soldiers to
leave the armed forces are still being worked out but senior
military figures are concerned over the new strategy.
Insiders have claimed that the growing bill for these people
is hindering the recruitment of younger soldiers.