More brass for the top brass: Defence chiefs seeing tax slashed while their troops have pay cut

By James Lyons

The windfall for those at the top comes as four years of public sector pay curbs leave troops up to £1,300 worse off each.

Chancellor George Osborne is putting hundreds of thousands of pounds into the pockets of defence chiefs while slashing troops’ pay.

His decision to axe the 50p tax rate will mean windfalls of up to £5,130 a year each for well-paid top brass.

Figures show 141 Army, Navy and RAF commanders will benefit, sharing an extra £206,156 a year in their pay packets.

Dozens of senior civil servants working at the Ministry of Defence will benefit as well as commanders, receiving up £4,500 a year more.

But the windfall for those at the top will come as four years of public sector pay curbs leave troops up to £1,300 worse off each.

A Budget backlash forced Mr Osborne to ditch taxes on churches, charities, caravans and pasties, but they are ploughing ahead with plans to cut the top rate of tax to 45p, which only helps those earning £150,000 and above.

Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy, who unearthed the figures, said: “David Cameron is boosting the incomes of the top brass while lowering reward and opportunity for the lowest paid.

“The Government’s priorities are baffling and backwards.

“The disastrously unfair budget gave a tax cut to those at the very top earning more than most families, while those earning the least are losing their allowances.

“It is as unjust as it is unbelievable.

“The Government should immediately ask the Armed Forces Pay Review Body to conduct a study into how greater support can be given to the lowest paid, and whether allowances and pay could be more fairly redistributed.”

Mr Cameron went in to the election promising to improve rewards for soldiers, sailors and airmen.

But pay and perks have been cut, pensions are under threat and thousands are being thrown on the dole as part of swingeing defence cuts that have also seen aircraft carriers and warplanes axed.

This article was originally published in the Daily Mirror.

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2 thoughts on “More brass for the top brass: Defence chiefs seeing tax slashed while their troops have pay cut

  1. To do this to our hero’s who protect this country shows the principle and non-respect that our Prime Minister has for our service personnel. This is typical of the Tory Part to cut and cut until there is nothing left, except of course for themselves.

    Laurence Mann (Labour Member) London

  2. An utter disgrace, especially when those who have fought longest and hardest appear to be being targeted for redundancy, My brother along with some 80 other service personnel made redundant in June, will be within a year of their immediate pension point. In my brothers case he will have served nearly 16 years, with three long tours on the front line. To renege on the terms of their contract of service now and deny them their pensions, days and months before reaching their immediate pension point is neither fair nor right and against natural justice and breaks the Military covenant. please sign the petition if you agree: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/35949

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