WILLOTT MAKES ARMED FORCES PLEDGE AS REPORT PREDICTS FORCE CUTS

January 13, 2010 12:00 AM

Today, Jenny Willott, Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, pledged "to do her bit" in campaigning for an improvement to conditions for Service Personnel and their families, the bereaved, veterans and dependants.

The move comes as RUSI released a report warning that major financial pressures on defence budgets could see the size of British armed forces scaled back by more than 35,000 to a total of 142,000 in 2016.

Commenting, Jenny said:

"While the defence budget is likely to take a bit hit over the foreseeable future, we must ensure that our armed forces are properly treated.

"The idea of cutting one in every five members of the armed forces is alarming. But so is the fact that so many of our service personnel are poorly paid. Too many are housed in appalling accommodation and veterans often do not get the healthcare and support they need and deserve.

"We need to look at cutting some big expensive defence items, like upgrading Trident, as well as sharing the costs of purchasing expensive equipment and weaponry with our European colleagues.

"This could save billions, improve our collective defensive capabilities and help to provide extra cash to support force numbers and properly pay, house and care for our service personnel.

"Anyone concerned about the welfare of our armed forces should get involved in the campaign by visiting the Royal British Legion website and signing their online petition."

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