Gurkhas to get lower payoffs in Army cuts

One officer facing compulsory redundancy said: 'I have given my whole life to the Army. I feel helpless. There is no morale in the brigade, it is very, very bad'

Many of the Gurkhas who were told they were being forced out of the Army yesterday will be paid less than their British counterparts, The Independent has learnt.

Morale amongst the Brigade of Gurkhas, one insider revealed, was at rock bottom with soldiers from the famous regiments feeling betrayed by the fact that they were bearing the brunt of compulsory redundancies.

Yesterday 920 soldiers across the Army were told that they would be made redundant in the first tranche of plans to cut a fifth of the service. While many were volunteers, 260 face compulsory redundancy, of which 140 will be Gurkhas despite the fact they represent just over 3 per cent of the force.

"I joined as a boy. I have given my whole life to the Army. I feel helpless," said one Gurkha officer facing compulsory redundancy. "I said to my commanding officer: 'What would you do if you were in my shoes?' He did not have an answer. There is no morale in the brigade, it is very, very bad."

The Nepalese soldiers, who have a 200-year association with Britain, have long been recognised for their loyalty and gallantry. "If a man says he's not afraid to die, he's either lying or he's a Gurkha," said the late Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw.

The brigade has continued to serve and suffer losses in Iraq and now Afghanistan, with the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Gurkha Rifles, in Helmand.

Under the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), the RAF, Army and Royal Navy have been told they must cut 17,000 staff by 2015 and 11,000 will be redundancies. Defence Secretary Liam Fox blamed the cuts on the Labour government "which left a £38 billion black hole in the defence budget".

The head of Army manning, Brigadier Richard Nugee, said in April that the cuts to the 3,500-strong Brigade of Gurkhas were necessary following recent changes to their terms of service, which granted them equal pay and pensions as well as the right to extend their service from 15 to 22 years. Because nearly all Gurkhas have chosen to serve the longer period, the brigade has been overmanned for years.

Yesterday the Ministry of Defence said that it expected some of those facing compulsory redundancy to take up the opportunity to transfer to another regiment.

The Gurkha officer, who wished to remain anonymous, said he would receive thousands of pounds less a year than his equivalent in other regiments. The redundancy pay calculator for the British Army stated that Gurkhas should use another system. For his service pre-1997, the officer will receive less than a third, making his severance pay considerably lower.

Gurkhas who did not transfer into the new pension system or turned down opportunities to transfer to other units believing they would serve out their time with their regiment, will be hit hard.

Former Major Tikendra Dal Dewan, chairman of the British Gurkha Welfare Society, said the brigade was likely to lose a total of 700 soldiers.

Up to 930 RAF personnel were also told they were being made redundant yesterday, of which 490 were compulsory.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
American singer, acclaimed actor of stage and screen, political activist and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson (1898 - 1976), rehearses in relaxed mood at the piano.
filmSinger, actor, activist, athlete: Paul Robeson was a cultural giant. But prejudice and intolerance drove him to a miserable death. Now his story is to be told in film...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Babysitter Katie and Paul have terse words in the park
tvReview: The strength of the writing keeps viewers glued to their seats even when they are confronted with the hard-hitting scenes
Life and Style
Make-up artists prepare contestants for last year’s Miss World, held in Budapest
fashion
Life and Style
life
News
‘The Graduate’, starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, was directed by Nichols in his purple period
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Argyll Scott International: FP&A Manager Supply Chain

Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Argyll Scott is recruiting for a Permane...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property NQ+

£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SOLI...

Argyll Scott International: Retail Commercial Finance Analyst

Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Due to further expansion, a leading inte...

Langley James : Senior Technician; Promotion & Training Opp; Borough; upto £32k

£27000 - £32000 per annum + training: Langley James : Senior Technician; Promo...

Day In a Page

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines
Will Smith's children have made waves with a gloriously over-the-top interview, but will their music match their musings?

What are Jaden and Willow on about?

Will Smith's children have made waves with a gloriously over-the-top interview, but will their music match their musings?
Fridge gate: How George Osborne keeping his fridge padlocked shows a frosty side to shared spaces

Cold war

How George Osborne keeping his fridge padlocked shows a frosty side to shared spaces
Stocking fillers: 10 best loo books

Stocking fillers: 10 best loo books

From dogs in cars to online etiquette, while away a few minutes in peace with one of these humorous, original and occasionally educational tomes
Malky Mackay appointed Wigan manager: Three texts keep Scot’s rehabilitation on a knife-edge

Three texts keep Mackay’s rehabilitation on a knife-edge

New Wigan manager said all the right things - but until the FA’s verdict is delivered he is still on probation, says Ian Herbert
Louis van Gaal: the liberal, the enemy and... err, the poet

Louis van Gaal: the liberal, the enemy and... err, the poet

‘O, Louis’ is the plaintive title of a biography about the Dutchman. Ian Herbert looks at what it tells us about the Manchester United manager