Three days before announcing an £18.5 million increase in foreign aid to Bangladesh, the Government secretly cut benefits to wounded British soldiers, leaving them £3,000-a-year worse off.
The compensation cut, by Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth, was ordered in secret out of a well-justified fear of a public outcry following his earlier public attempts to cut payments to wounded troops.
The new cuts mean that badly wounded soldiers will have their disability benefits cut by half and will no longer receive the special £57-a-week allowance paid to all wounded soldiers who are too disabled to work.
This means that all troops injured in the lie-based Labour and Tory supported wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will now be £3,000-a-year worse off.
The new cuts in the Allowance for Lower Standard of Occupation (ALSO) — which helps injured troops pay for basic essentials and stay above the poverty line as they struggle to cope with psychiatric as well as physical wounds — means that even soldiers getting the existing benefit will have it taken away.
British forces in Afghanistan suffered their worst month to date in July, with 22 soldiers killed and 94 wounded in battle. Official figures show that 279 injured troops and veterans are currently involved in legal battles to try and extract more generous compensation settlements after having suffered horrendous injuries in wars started by the Government.
Around 12,000 veterans currently receive the allowance, which means that the total expenditure is £36 million — less than 0.5 percent of Britain’s total foreign aid budget.