Local Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today (18th June 2013) criticised the Tory-led Government for what he described as “chaotic cuts” to our army without a proper plan in place to ‘plug the gap’.
The criticisms came following approximately 5,000 members of the British Army receiving their redundancy notices.
“These cuts to our army are a represent a huge risk and it is not unfair to say that there is a massive effort going into sacking soldiers but nowhere near as much is being done to plug the gap by recruiting new reservists.
“Senior Army figures are right to warn that Ministers’ decisions could lead to a mismatch between capability and ambition. The Government’s defence plans rest on doubling the number of Reserves and yet there is a recruitment crisis and employers have not been properly engaged. These redundancies represent not just broken promises but a failing strategy, and the level of voluntary applicants will be a signal of morale within our Armed Forces.
“It is very likely that we will end up with the army losing a significant number of fully trained soldiers, who will now not be able to pass on their expertise to new recruits. It will create a ‘capability gap’ and could mean that, if an emergency were to break out, the lack of learned skills and NCO’s with field experience new recruits are put into a perilous position on the front line.”
Tom also echoed his calls for local companies to enlist in Labour’s ‘Veterans Interview Programme’.
“Beyond our defence capabilities we must remember that each redundancy notice now represents an out-of-work hero and, in many cases, a worried family. It is vital that local communities support our Armed Forces and, particularly now, there must be greater support to find veterans employment and enhance post-service opportunities. I’d again urge local business to enlist in the ‘Veterans Interview Programme’ as a sign of that support.”