Today saw many redundancies announced within the UK army, about 5,000 of them a few hundred of which were “involuntary” (“Attention men” “Prepare to open pink slips” “get ready” “wait for it….” “….and…FIRED”).
Now with tens of thousands of people loosing their jobs, including those in supposedly “ring fenced” area’s such as health care, few will feel much sympathy for a few unemployed squadies. But it does set a dangerous precedent.
The “deal” the UK has long made with its army has been that if you sign on for twenty years service, the state will compensate for danger levels so high they would give elf’n’safety types a coronary, long hours and pay so poor, even IDS and his “welfare chain gangs” would look well paid in comparison. In return the government guarantee’s them employment, gives them food and lodgings and at the end of service, an army pension.
So in essence the government has now reneged on that deal. One has to hope there’s not another war or anything, for what fool would sign on as a soldier now, knowing that its likely you too will probably loose you’re job in a couple of years time.
Which is troubling for anyone hoping to claim a pension off the government, whether that be the state pension or a private pension fund which the state is the guarantor for.
And indeed they are already at it. One of the things that upsets me about the current welfare reform, aside from the fact that it seems to assume that everyone on benefits is some sort of criminal, even the squadies they’ve just made redundant, but the principle of it. The whole point of paying National Insurance is so that if you end up unemployed or unable to work in the future, those funds will be available to pay for you’re benefits. And again, the government is reneging on its commitments. I would therefore argue that I’m entitled to a full or part refund of all my national insurance contributions and the newly redundant soldiers are entitled to a couple of years worth of back pay.
So the upshot of these army redundancies are that I would advise a strategy of not planning on stopping work….ever!