Sunday, 27 April 2008

Armed Forces Compensation Scheme to be improved

In response to the outcry over the poor compensation payments made to severely injured troops - prompted particularly by the case of Paratrooper Ben Parkinson who initially received only £152,000 for loss of both limbs and brain injury - General Sir David Richards, c-in-c land forces, has said that the Government now acknowledges that payouts must be improved and that "there is an acceptance in the Ministry of Defence, not just in the military, that this whole area needs re-examination". Today's Sunday Telegraph reports that the current maximum compensation award of £285,000 could be tripled.
The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme has been severely criticised for paying troops injured in battle just a fraction of the amounts paid to civilians; for example, its not unusual for victims of car accidents to receive £2million. The MoD has also been slated for handing out huge compensation amounts to civil servants claiming for repetitive strain injury, backache and stress.
General Richards is "confident" that injured soldiers would be "properly looked after". Confidence in the Labour Government is in very short supply at the moment; lets hope the General's confidence is not misplaced.

Link> The Telegraph: Compensation boost for severely injured troops
Link> AV: Compensation payouts - compare and contrast
Link> The Telegraph: Ben Parkinson assured of full compensation
Link> MoD: Armed Forces Compensation Scheme