Monday, July 09, 2007 The Ministry of Defence has only employed one in eight of the essential staff it said it needed. Although defence ministers promised in March to appoint 244 administration staff to handle training and welfare in Iraq and Afghanistan only 31 are in place 16 months later. A shortage of cash has effectively ruled out further recruitment of more permanent staff, leaving staff with unresolved pay and family problems. As revealed by The Herald newspaper, the MoD is already seeking to make a saving of £5m in the Territorial Army (TA) budget and also that the formation of desperately needed helicopter technicians and engineers and supply transport specialists will not take place until August 2009. Mark Lancaster, a Major in the TA said: "It is not only capability that will be hit. It will also impact on personnel. The manpower turnover in the TA runs at about 30% a year. The proposed cutback of £5m for the reserve forces is the equivalent of a reduction of £50m for the regular Army. That is not an exaggeration." A report by the Commons Public Accounts Committee warned last week the regular forces were already 5850 personnel short of full strength. Past cuts in recruitment have had a negative effect on managing some areas, but money constraints are stopping the MoD from recruiting enough to make up the shortfall.