Latest round of armed forces redundancies announced

Published on Thursday, 23 January 2014 12:50
Written by Govtoday staff

The restructuring of the armed forces is a step closer today, with the size and scope of the fourth and final set of armed forces redundancies having been set out by the defence secretary Philip Hammond.

These redundancies are not new and are the last tranche of the armed forces redundancy programme that was announced in the strategic defence and security review in October 2010.

They also mark the end of the uncertainty our personnel have faced over the past few years.

All three services have worked hard to limit the numbers of personnel involved throughout the armed forces redundancy programme which has meant that this final tranche will only consist of up to 1,505 personnel.

This will include a maximum of 1,425 soldiers, 10 medical officers from the Royal Navy and 70 medical personnel from the RAF.

The MOD has also ensured that there is a robust resettlement process and a generous tax-free payment in place for all those who are selected for redundancy to help make their transition to civilian life as smooth as possible.

This package has been further enhanced this year and personnel selected for redundancy this June will be able to get a loan as an advance of their redundancy payment to help them buy their own home.

Mr Hammond said: "Tough decisions had to be made to balance the defence budget and this included restructuring the armed forces to create a more sustainable military.

"This fourth and final tranche of the armed forces redundancy programme will draw a line under the uncertainty of the last four years, bringing a renewed sense of security about the future to our servicemen and women.

"Everyone selected for redundancy will get all the support they need to make a smooth transition to civilian life, including a new option to get an advance on redundancy packages, giving everyone a greater opportunity to buy their own home at a time that suits them.

"Our armed forces in the future will be properly equipped, sustainable and better placed to meet the challenges of the future."

Chief of the general staff, General Sir Peter Wall, said: "In order to deliver the Army's new structure this final tranche of redundancies is essential. I fully recognise the uncertainty and concern for those in the employment fields announced today.

"Our priority will be to look after those leaving the Army and to support their transition to civilian life."

It is important that the armed forces continue to recruit to ensure we have enough quality junior ranks and talented young officers to promote up through the organisation in future.

The armed forces redundancy programme has been designed to safeguard those skill sets needed in the future armed forces, while ensuring that rank structure remains balanced and support to combat operations is not compromised.

Labour Party response:

Vernon Coaker MP, Labour's shadow defence secretary, commenting on the latest round of armed forces redundancies announced by the government, said: "Labour is clear about the need to reconfigure our armed forces after withdrawal from Afghanistan and the end of a presence in Germany. But we would never do anything that would leave Britain's security under threat.

"The government is letting down our armed forces and their families, and taking risks with our nation's safety. The IT fiasco at the Ministry of Defence is costing millions of taxpayer pounds and hampering recruitment to the armed forces. The promised increase in the number of reserves - to make up for the gap left by these redundancies - hasn't happened.

"David Cameron's defence record is one of failure. On procurement, on recruitment and on redundancies, the government is in crisis. The Tories are getting it wrong and gambling with Britain's future."

Source: MoD, Labour Party

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