Burma veteran lives in poverty as he fights MoD

From today's Daily Telegraph. A sad and interesting story. Perhaps not my place to suggest it, but is there any way in which ARRSE could help?

Burma veteran lives in poverty as he fights MoD
By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent

An 88-year-old veteran of the Burma campaign is living in penury because Whitehall bureaucrats are refusing to pay him full £86,000 recompense after a pension error.

Tomorrow, when the Government will trumpet Veterans' Day to honour those who risked their lives for Britain's freedom, Major Richard Perkins will remain at home musing on his battle with the Ministry of Defence.

For five months during the 1944 Chindit campaign he led 30 soldiers behind Japanese lines. But he says the deprivations he suffered in the Burmese jungle are nothing to the seven-year campaign he has waged for compensation that the MoD refuses to recognise.

Major Perkins was among hundreds of medically discharged veterans who were incorrectly taxed on their pension, an error that emerged in 1998.

Millions of pounds in compensation were paid but he was at first denied the rebate on taxation paid over 42 years because the ministry said he had not been discharged for medical reasons.

He fought for five years, employing lawyers and a psychiatrist, to prove that his later service during the Malayan emergency had contributed to a mental breakdown. After an appeal tribunal, the MoD paid £20,000 for the tax error but refused to pay interest estimated at £86,000.

Once again Major Perkins, a father of four children from two marriages, had to fight. He pays £20 every month towards legal aid as he tries to have the case heard in the High Court.

He survives on a state pension plus an Army stipend of £463 a month. Out of that he pays £435 rent for a home in Lastingham, North Yorks.

Major Perkins's MP, John Greenway, the Tory member for Ryedale, said: "It is time the MoD did the honourable thing and gave him the compensation he is entitled to."

The ministry advised Major Perkins to contact the Inland Revenue, as it was a matter of "tax legislation". Major Perkins accused it of "passing the buck".
Thank's Gallowglass,
That's nothing short of scandelous treatment of a very brave man by faceless suits who only care aout Govenment targets & their coffers.It sickens me that skivers & assylum seekers get all they need & more but a frail pensioner cannot get what's rightfully his. Of course,you'll hear the 'needy' seekers ect bleat on about how their basic human rights are being abused! What about this man's basic needs?He just want's what's rightfully his,nothing more or less.
I think another letter writing spree to our MPs/MLA's is in order....
That´s disgusting. There are no words that can describe my anger
This deserves a bump today. Veteran's Day is nothing more than an attempt by HMG to appeal to the kind of voter who collects box-sets of old war films and Loyal Dalton Battle of Britain memorial plates, yet has never served. It is not about the lost and the discarded in anyway, such matters are beyond most politicians of any stripe.

The only people we can rely upon is each other, so I urge you to write a letter/email, however short, however badly constructed, to your MP in an attempt to raise the issue of Maj Perkins's situation and the wider issue of veteran abandonment. You and I both know they don't care, but nonetheless they can be forced into action if they think it's a matter of public opinion.

Our past is all this country has now.
Letters going off now, my MP, MOD, Bliar, Times and the Scum
Prodigal said:
Have the British Legion been unable to help him or highlight his case?
A good point and I would be very surprised if they were unable to help.

It seems it is not EVERY Veteran's Day.

mistersoft said:
Prodigal said:
Have the British Legion been unable to help him or highlight his case?
A good point and I would be very surprised if they were unable to help.

It seems it is not EVERY Veteran's Day.

I'm sure the Legion are doing their best - unfortunately if The MoD have directed them to the Inland Revenue - and IL state it is a legislative issue - then there is not much the Legion can do. If, however, one decides to take the manoeuverist approach in dealing with the traffic wardens and scoundrels who run the country, and pressure the image sensitive politicos into making a 'sideways' phonecall, something may give. It's amazing how many legislative roadblocks get cleared in the face of nasty tabloid front page puns.
For those who may be considering writing to their MP, the following notes are based on my experience and may be helpful:

Writing to your MP.
You can find out who your constituency MP is from www.parliament.uk, or www.theyworkforyou.co.uk. Some MPs ask that you write to their local constituency office, but mail addressed to the MP by name at House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA will reach your MP. Although some MPs list fax numbers and email addresses, standard letters are generally the best method. Whilst all letters will be dealt with, it’s best to try and get your point across as clearly and briefly as possible. Avoid acronyms and jargon, and remember that the spellchecker is your friend!
MPs represent everyone in their constituency, irrespective of whether your views are the same as theirs or their party.

Include a contact telephone number or email address. Before contacting a Sec of State or Minister, an MP may want more information. If you don’t live in the constituency in which you are registered, make it clear in the letter that you are a constituent but don’t live there because you are serving, and include the address to which an answer should be sent.
You can ask your MP about all sorts of matters, but they will only help where central government or Parliament are responsible. For example, you can ask about tax issues, the NHS, MoD, pensions, immigration and so on.

Always say what you want your MP to do. This is generally best done by asking him to ask the relevant Department or Minister for a solution to a problem, or for an answer to a question. For example, if MHS had repeatedly failed to fix the heating in your quarter, and you had complained with no effect, you could ask your MP to ask the MOD to take action to resolve the situation. On the other hand, if you had concerns about an aspect of MOD policy, you could ask your MP to get an answer from SofS for Defence. For more general issues, you can ask your MP to pass your comments to the relevant Minister or Department. You can also ask your MP to raise an issue in Parliament.

What happens next?
You will usually receive an acknowledgment or holding letter within a couple of weeks, in which the MP will say that he is dealing with your letter, and may detail who he has contacted for an answer. This letter may be signed by an assistant or member of the constituency office, but your original letter will have been seen by your MP. If more details are needed, the MP’s constituency office or a parliamentary assistant may contact you directly.

In my experience, the full answer will normally take another couple of weeks. If your MP wrote to a Minister, a copy of the reply will be enclosed. If your MP asks a government department to contact you directly, he will write and tell you first. Your MP will usually invite you to contact him again if you think your query has not been fully answered.

In the case of Major Perkins, my letter is along the lines of:

'I am sure you will agree that the situation this gentleman is faced with is entirely unacceptable, and a disgraceful way to treat someone who has served his country. I would be grateful if you would ask the Minister with responsibility for Veteran's Affairs to explain why the Ministry of Defence sought to pass the buck, and to intervene as soon as possible to ensure that HMRC pay Major Perkins the interest they owe him without delay.'
Most probably they will just wait until he passes on and that will be the end of the matter as usual from our elected numpties.
My MP is no stranger to my missives, and another will be winging his way today. I feel sick to the core and wholly ashamed of our country treating this gentleman and others in this despicable manner :evil: .
I too wonder why the RBL haven't been on the case though...
RBL, they don't want to upset the shiney arse brigade in their midst, their colleagues and senior military friends at the Ministry of Dafties.
I hate these scum. If they owe him money, they should pay it up quickly. THey take it quicly enough.
Maybe BAFF ought to take up the fight? Just a thought. Is there any way I can help?
The advice in writing to an MP is unimpeachable.

However, beware letters that simply forward your complaint to a Minister, receive an anodyne response and then the MP simply forwards a Ministerial reply to your Home Address without becoming involved beyond that of a glorified postman!

My MP actually hides from me - he is terrified!

So he bloody well should be!

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