Budget 2015: Bank fines will pay for annual £10,000 reward for VC and GC winners

George Osborne: 'It is right that we use fines from those who demonstrated the worst of values to support those who have shown the best of British values'

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Indy Politics

Winners of the highest military and civilian honours for bravery will be given a £10,000-a-year reward from the nation, George Osborne has announced.

The tax-free award for 10 living holders of the Victoria Cross (VC) and 20 holders of the George Cross (GC), who currently receive a small annuity of £2,129 a year, will be funded from the £3m penalties levied by the Financial Conduct Authority on banks guilty of misconduct.

The Chancellor, who will confirm his move in Wednesday's Budget, met some of the medal holders in Downing Street.  He said: “These inspirational people have gone above and beyond for this country and it is only right that we do all we can to support them. It is quite right that we use the bank fines from those who demonstrated the worst of values to support those who have shown the best of British values.”

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Major Peter Norton GC of  the Royal Logistics Corps, who is chairman of the VC and GC Association, said it was  “very grateful for this incredibly generous support.  It comes on a day when we are all reflecting on the loss of life and destruction wreaked by the 7/7 bombings ten years ago.”

The VC and GC are the two highest honours in the UK.  The VC is awarded – often posthumously – to members of the armed forces from across the Commonwealth and previous British Empire territories for valour in the face of the enemy.  The GC, the highest gallantry award for civilians, was created by King George VI in 1940 to award civilians who demonstrated bravery and courage during the Blitz. 

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