Monday, May 03, 2010

Paddy Ashdown outlines plans for better pay and homes for troops

On a visit to Brecon and Radnorshire to meet serving and former service personnel, Lord (Paddy) Ashdown set out plans to improve family homes for the Armed Forces and make troops' pay fair.

Liberal Democrats would double the number of forces' family homes refurbished each year and ensure that no service man or woman goes into harm's way on less basic pay than a new recruit to the police force.

Action would also be taken to ensure the Armed Forces have enough of the right kit through a Strategic Security and Defence Review, to take place shortly after the election.

Paddy Ashdown, former leader of the Liberal Democrats and former Royal Marine said:
"It's completely unacceptable that this Labour government is not giving enough support to our armed services. The Liberal Democrats would change this.

"The Labour government expects these brave young men and women to fight on our behalf and they fail to provide them with proper armour to defend themselves. Gordon Brown has failed to give them a decent wage for the work they do and a decent home to raise their children in. That is no way to repay the commitment they make for defending our values.

"The Liberal Democrats would give a pay rise to the lower ranks so that their pay is brought into line with the salary of their emergency service counterparts. We would also bring forces family homes up to standard in half the time the Government plans.

"Not only do we need to make sure that our troops have the right kit to defend themselves, we also need the right strategy so that we leave Afghanistan in a stable situation and our troops can come home with their heads held high."
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