Sunday, 26 July 2009

Government Attempts to Slash Soldiers' Injury Compensation



The MoD are going to the Court of Appeal on Tuesday to try and cut compensation paid out to two injured soldiers by 70%. The two soldiers were crippled in battle and received the statutory compensation. In June last year the the MoD took both cases to a higher court claiming 'it should only have to compensate the men for the initial injuries and not subsequent complications.' The three judges ruled against the ministry saying it was 'absurd' to divorce the injury from treatment.

The rising number of military casualties has brought the deficiencies in the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, introduced in 2005, to the attention of the public. Compensation payouts to soldiers are routinely only a fraction of those awarded in civil courts.

When we consider the paltry sums given to our soldiers with this, the Scheme definitely needs reviewing.

This government has no shame, but we know that don't we. This is a despicable attempt to save money in connection with our troops, but let us not forget how much these court cases cost the taxpayer. This is the second visit to court the ministry will have made in connection with the two specific cases. If it loses at the Court of Appeal, wounded soldiers who suffered further complications after treatment, will be entitled to higher payouts. I await the judges' ruling with interest.

17 comments:

Jim Baxter said...

Rosy,

I have an idea. All of our wounded servicemen should get together and set up a bank and then immediately decalre it insovent.

Baron's Life said...

Seems like our governments are all conspiring to keep us poor, wounded, under educated ans mal nourished while they squander billions/trillions on developping countries...

scunnert said...

An uncle who took a bullet in the hip in WWII was awarded 7/6d a year. For the rest of his life he had a hole in his hip and and walked with great pain. That was worth seven and a tanner pa.

Richard said...

This story is framed deliberately to invoke a knee-jerk response, and you fall for it, I'm afraid.

Looking at it dispassionately - which is the way it has to be viewed - HMG is not a charity. Its , in this case the MoD, are charged with obeying the rules.

If the rules are unclear, then they appeal to the Courts for a decision. That is the way the system works, and should work unless you believe that officials should make the rules.

The outcome of this is that either the injured will get paid their full wack or a cruel rule will be exposed ... following which there will be pressure to change it - if not by the government direct, through Parliament. And that is the way the system should work.

It is likely that, if need be, the rules will be changed and the injured will not lose out.

This is not a "heartless" MoD - it is a blind, bureaucratic system ... that is what it is. The people responsible are the elected politicians - the make/approve the rules, not the bureaucrats (except EU law).

Jeff said...

This does seem to be regrettable timing as it was only a week ago that the Government announced that compensation payments were to be doubled in the future.

If Richard's comment is true, then it is telling that a negative news story about the Government wins more headlines when it's not technically accurate but a genuine and positive news story sneaks through with little notice.

subrosa said...

Hello Jim, feeling better?

subrosa said...

I perhaps fell for it Richard because my knowledge is only that of the AFCS. The point of my post was to bring to the attention of the public the difference between military and civilian compensation.

All government is bureaucratic, it's just such a waste to see that rules are made so inefficiently that they have to be clarified so often in courts.

The elected politicians rely on civil servants to compile rules. Surely it must be the quality of our civil servants that must be lacking.

subrosa said...

Jeff, your link doesn't work. I did say at the end of the post that if the government loses this appeal, then soldiers in a similiar position to these two, will be entitled to higher payouts.

banned said...

That was an interesting point by Richard.
Btw, is it still the case that we are not technically at war in Afghanistan so compensation is awarded on the basis of being injured by criminals rather than a war injury ?
A Police Action in support of the Civil Power as I think it was called in the old days.

subrosa said...

Indeed it was banned. I greatly respect Richard's views with regard to military matters. My post should have contained the fact that it is poorly designed legislation which, in turn, requires ministries to repeatedly go to the courts to seek clarification.

Now I don't know that answer to that but several politicians have used the word 'war' in the past few weeks.

subrosa said...

Oh Jeff, I should have added I'm quite sure Richard's comment is true. I have great regard for his knowledge of all things military and I don't mind him criticising me for 'falling' for the story. I just wish the legislation had been drafted correctly initially instead of soldiers having to wait for courts to resolve matters.

Nickie Goomba said...

At what point will the public demand a changing of the guard? This is tragic!

The Last Of The Few said...

BAnned,

By that reason we are technically still at war with Argentina!!!

No peace agreement or declaration of hostilities has been signed

subrosa said...

Morning Nickie, the public have tried and continue to do so but it's falling on deaf ears.

subrosa said...

Morning LotF. In many ways just as well, because this bunch seem so useless with drawing up anything.

Caron said...

Subrosa, I hadn't seen this post until you referred to it in your comment to mine.

Having read the comments, I still don't feel any better about it. You would think the Government would have made sure that we had decent, fair rules - they have, after all, been in power for 12 years and they have been in action in Afghanistan and then Iraq for 9 years. There are no excuses.

It should have been fair from the start and we shouldn't have to be paying massive amounts of money deciding these things in the courts.

subrosa said...

Hello Caron, I hope you didn't think I was being negative - but I did see Richard's point. I agree with you, no matter what angle you look at this, it looks pathetic insofar as we have people in power who can't draft proper legislation. As you say the waste of money in ministries having to go to courts to have legislation clarified is a disgrace. I believe it happens regularly.

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