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.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Fans hold up a scarf at West Ham vs Liverpool
footballAfter Arsenal's clear victory, focus turns to West Ham vs Liverpool
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
football
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
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

Qualified Primary Teaching Assistant

£64 - £73 per day + Competitive rates based on experience : Randstad Education...

Primary KS2 NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Primary NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Primary NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam