Dear Editor, Words cannot describe the disgust I felt when I read that the Government is going to court this week seeking to cut the compensation awarded to two badly wounded Servicemen.
In a world where a typist with repetitive strain injury can be awarded hundreds of thousands of pounds, Trooper Anthony Duncan was initially awarded a mere £9,250 after being shot in Iraq. Royal Marine Matthews McWilliams was initially awarded just £8,250 following a serious training accident. Both soldiers continue to suffer pain and distress from their injuries. Following successful appeals to a tribunal, the two soldiers’ awards were increased to £46,000 and £28,750 respectively – still a fraction of the sums regularly awarded to people for “hurt feelings” by employment tribunals.
In a new low, even for this Government, the Ministry of Defence is going to the Court of Appeal this week to try to cut that increase and return their awards to the initial, dismal sums.
At a time when our soldiers are dying in the dust halfway around the world with inadequate resources, fighting with no clear-cut mission or end-state, this is a gross betrayal of our dedicated servicemen and women. The Military Covenant between the country and our Armed Forces requires our soldiers to risk their lives and their health on behalf of their country.
In return, they deserve the best possible help and treatment should they be injured.
Every week at Prime Minister’s Questions, Gordon Brown recites the names of British soldiers killed in action in Afghanistan. How he has the gall to do this, while his Government is going to court in this despicable way, is beyond me.
Any moral compass he may once have possessed has long since seized up and rusted beyond repair. Shame on him.
Conservative Parliamentary Candidate
for North Warwickshire & Bedworth
Note: Dan Byles served in the Army for nine years, and was at one point the youngest serving Major in the Army. He served operationally in Kosovo and Bosnia, and during the Iraq invasion he served as a Staff Officer in the Ministry of Defence. He left to enter politics after becoming disillusioned with Government neglect of the Armed Forces. He recently served alongside Freddie Forsyth and Simon Weston on the Military Covenant Commission, and co-authored a report on how to repair the broken Military Covenant.