Pay our soldiers more, say voters

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Voters have overwhelmingly backed the British Army's operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and called for a pay rise for troops, a Ministry of Defence survey has revealed.

The study shows that more than three-quarters of the 1,000 people surveyed believe that the Army is doing a good job abroad but say that soldiers are not getting enough support at home. One in four want higher wages for soldiers – trained privates take home just over £16,700 – and warn that troops need better equipment and higher standards of housing.

Almost half of those surveyed believe that the British Army looks after its injured soldiers but a third disagreed, and while 42 per cent said that the Army looks after its veterans, 35 per cent disagreed.

There was overwhelming approval for overseas operations – with 78 per cent agreeing that the Army was doing a "good job" in Afghanistan and 74 per cent praising its role in Iraq.

The Ipsos Mori survey is carried out twice a year to chart the attitude of Britons to the Army.

A report commissioned by the Chief of Staff, General Sir Richard Dannatt, has found that many soldiers are living in poverty.

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