Compensation . . . . who should pay?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Biped, Jul 30, 2009.

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  1. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    AS we all know, the MOD is trying to overturn compensation payments to British soldiers injured during the course of their duties.

    On the one hand, it's agreed that the initial payment on injury is fair now, or by civvy standards, it might be argued that it's more than fair. On the other hand, it's patently absurd that the MOD is arguing that complications and further treatment from those same injuries are not its bag. They, quite clearly ARE part of the original injury as they lead directly from it.

    It's also quite clear that there should be matching compensation for ongoing treatment or disablement that is on a par with that offered to civvies.

    So, to summarise, make the compo for injuries and subsequent complications/treatment match those of civvy street.

    However, the MOD is fighting this because these payments come out of its own funds.

    Here's what I propose: The government of the day is responsbile for starting wars. The government of the day is responsible for setting MOD budgets too.

    Thus, if a soldier is wounded in battle, it is down to the central government budget to compensate that soldier, not the MOD out of its budget.

    If a soldier is wounded in battle, most often due to insufficient manning and/or kit, then the government should pay, not out of the MOD budget, but from other budgets.

    This ring-fencing of the MOD budget might actually:

    A: Concentrate the minds of politicians about the true financial cost of war, even if the cost in lives is something it's uncaring of.

    B: Allow the MOD to use its own budget, not spent on compo to buy more and better kit, or increase manning levels, or improve forces accomodation, or do any number of things.

    Discuss.
     
  2. I agree with you, perversely, the more the MOD budget is strained by wounded soldiers, the less money there is in the pot for force protection, helicopters etc which potentialy leads to even more dead and wounded, placing further strain on the budget. A vicious circle we could well do without.

    As we are currently fighting illegal combatants who are by their very definition criminals, then the criminal injuries compensation scheme should be expanded in order to deal with military casualties who are when all is said and done, victims of criminals.
     
  3. Agreed, it should not come from the MOD budget, but central funding is not going to happen. No government is going to agree to such a policy when they would then face very strong lobbying from the NHS, Education and everyone else for the same arrangement; that the situation is incomparable will be neither here nor there to the various interest groups – they just want more money and will find, to them, good reasons.

    The current situation is wrong, no doubt, but lobbying for an increased MOD budget to cover the costs probably stands more chance of success (but not much).
     
  4. Absolutely, perhaps the government should try fighting wars on a wartime budget rather than a peacetime one.
     
  5. Unless kids start gun battles in schools that got to be a tricky one to win...!
     
  6. Does it come from the MoD budget or is it like the UOR costs & it's extra from the treasury on an "as required" basis
     
  7. Its hard to say without knowing details of the complications suffered, but it could be mistakes in treating the original wounds that caused the complications for example infection in which case the treating hospital might be liable!! Who knows??
     
  8. It all comes out of the same pot - our taxes - so all that would happen if Biped's idea was implemented is that the current MoD budget would be stripped of the amount (and then some) that is currently allocated for compensation. The MoD's pot of money wouldn't stay the same, the funds would just be moved around. I'm not saying that it's right or that it's fair; I'm just saying how it would be.
     
  9. Indeed. This whole thing is about not exposing the MoD to unlimited liability in the future, it's not some inhuman grudge match by the government.
     
  10. MoD budget should be for tanks and planes, bombs and ammo.

    Compensation for wounded should come from the Welfare Budget... it is more than big enough to cope.
     
  11. In fact the assumption regarding the complications at issue is that any treatment involved is the normal reasonable treatment in relation to the injury. If complications have been caused by negligent treatment in UK then there may be a liability claim for medical negligence, which would be separate from the claim under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.
     
  12. Compensation should come from the nation we are operating in. They can afford it. They produce, process and export 75% of the world opium crop.