Who's worth more to the country: the guy on the left or the one on the right?
Head of the Army, General Dannatt today threw down the gauntlet and challenged the Government on the low level of pay currently paid to Britain's troops. Drawing comparisons with public sector workers Gen. Dannatt said a frontline soldier, who everyday risks his life in the service of his country, is paid less than a London traffic warden. He called for above inflation pay rises over the next few years to stem the flow of soldiers leaving the Army and challenged the Government to get their priorities sorted.
The General commented: "Servicemen go on operations knowing they are putting their lives on the line. It is very hard to put a price on that. ... To make sure that we have Armed Services – in my case an Army – populated by motivated and well-trained people, we have got to look after their individual needs well enough. That means things like housing, pay, medical provision and general welfare facilities have got to be good."
The General's comments were supported by the chairman of the Commons Defence Committee, James Arbuthnot MP who said "Are we giving the defence of this country - and are we giving the men and women who risk everything, their lives and everything for us - enough priority? ..... I have come to the conclusion that we have not. We need to give them more priority."
Gordon Brown responded by promising that the Government will do "everything in our power" to help members of the armed forces.
Well you hold the purse strings, Gordon, so....... get it sorted!
Link> The Sun: Soldiers risk life yet earn less than a traffic warden
Link> BBC: Brown makes pledge on forces' pay
Link> BBC: For Queen, country and low pay?