18 Jun 2013

British Army makes 4,480 soldiers redundant

Almost 4,500 soldiers are told they will lose their jobs in the latest round of army redundancies, the Ministry of Defence confirms.

In total 4,480 personnel will be made redundant under the latest job losses as the government seeks to reduce the number of regulars to 82,000 by 2018.

The strategic defence security review announced in 2010 the planned reduction of 17,000 posts from the armed forces, with 5,000 roles cuts from the navy and RAF, along with 7,000 from the army.

The Ministry of Defence said the move is necessary to help balance the books but insists operational capability would not be affected.

Although smaller, our armed forces will be more flexible and agile to reflect the challenges of the future. Philip Hammond, defence secretary

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has said there will be no further reductions in manpower during the next round of cuts.

“It is with great regret that we have had to make redundancies to deliver the reduction in the size of the armed forces, but unfortunately they were unavoidable due to the size of the defence deficit that this government inherited.

“Although smaller, our armed forces will be more flexible and agile to reflect the challenges of the future with the protection and equipment they need.

“They will continue to be the bedrock of our society and provide extremely rewarding and exciting careers for future recruits.”

‘Flawed plan’

The shadow defence secretary, Jim Murphy, said the redundancy notices being issued “represent not just broken promises but a failing strategy” to reform the British army.

“The government has a flawed plan for reforming the British army,” he said. “There is a huge effort going into sacking soldiers but nowhere near as much is being done to plug the gap by recruiting new reservists.

“These redundancies represent not just broken promises but a failing strategy, and the level of voluntary applicants will be a signal of morale.”

These redundancies represent not just broken promises but a failing strategy. Jim Murphy, Labour shadow defence secretary

According to MoD statistics, 24,000 people leave the armed forces each year, with 85 per cent finding new employment within six months.

They highlight that 84 per cent of the current round of cuts applied for redundancy, with serving personnel on operations in Afghanistan or those recovering from injuries exempt.

Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Peter Wall, claimed the redundancy scheme is a “difficult but essential step”.

“We owe our sincere gratitude to those leaving the army for their service over such a demanding period of operations.

“We will support them and their families as best we can on their path to civilian life.

“Meanwhile we continue to need plenty of young and talented recruits to ensure the Army is fit to meet the challenges of the future.”