MOD Rejects Gurkha Pension Claims - Upholds Other Claims

The MOD has published its response to the Gurkha discrimination claims.

Although this addresses some of the claims, the fact that the pension claim has been dismissed
makes it likely that demonstrations will continue to be held.


FOREWORD

The Government would like to thank Jackie Doyle-Price MP and the All Party

Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Gurkha Welfare for leading an inquiry into grievances

held by members of the Gurkha veterans’ community. This inquiry has provided the

Gurkha veterans’ community an independent forum within which their grievances have

been listened to, considered and ultimately debated in Parliament. The Government

would like to pay tribute to the manner in which the Gurkha community have participated

in this unique inquiry and taken the opportunity to present evidence about the grievances

which some hold.

Gurkhas have made an outstanding contribution to the UK through their years of

dedicated service to the Crown and are held in high esteem by the British Army and the

public alike. They rightly deserve their reputation as amongst the bravest and most

fearless of soldiers. The Government and the British people are hugely proud that

Gurkhas continue to serve in the British Army and that today do so, with some small

differences bespoke to the identity of the Gurkhas, on the same terms and conditions as

their British counterparts. I am proud also that in 2009 the parties of the Coalition

Government supported the historic decision to allow Gurkha veterans the right to settle in

the UK. In 2015 we will mark the bicentenary of Gurkha service in the British Army, and at

the same time celebrate the relationship between the UK and Nepal through a range of

events in both countries.

The Tripartite Agreement signed between the UK and Nepal in 1947 continues to provide

the basis for the service of Gurkhas in the British Army. This Agreement commits the

British Government to treat Gurkhas fairly. Successive British Governments have always

sought to do this and meet the aspirations of successive generations of Gurkha soldiers

and their families. The origins of today’s Brigade of Gurkhas, which stem from the

independence of India in 1947, have meant that before 1 April 2007 Gurkhas served on

different terms and conditions of service to other parts of the Army. It is these historic

differences which some in the Gurkha community point to today as being unjust.

The Government does not accept that in all these cases an injustice does exist. As such

it would not be possible for any Government to retrospectively provide enhancements to

arrangements and policies which were appropriate and legal for their time and the

circumstances of Gurkha service, and would be above that received by other members in

the British Army. However such is the strength of this nation’s gratitude to the Gurkha

community for their service that the Government believes there are measures that should

be put in place to ensure that all Gurkha veterans have the opportunity to live in

retirement with the further support and gratitude of the British Government.

As a sign of this commitment the Government has taken a historic decision to

compensate those who left the Gurkhas as a direct result of marrying a non-Nepalese.

When seen in a 21st Century context, the Government does not believe it reflected the

values of the United Kingdom’s Armed Forces. We will therefore set up a fund to

compensate those affected, the details of which will be published in due course.

The Government has continued to use fines from the banking industry to support many

Service charities to ensure serving members of the Armed Forces and veterans receive

the support they rightly deserve. The provision of £5m over five years to the Gurkha

Welfare Trust is a clear statement of this commitment and recognition of the work done

by the Trust in support of Gurkha veterans. We will be working closely with the Gurkha

Welfare Trust as they determine how best to apply this funding. We have also awarded

over £900,000 from the Veterans Accommodation Fund to Gurkha Homes Limited for the

provision of 32 safe, supportive and affordable homes for Gurkha veterans and their

spouses or partners.

Anna Soubry MP

Full report here;
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploa...99559/20150128-APPG_Report_Response_FINAL.PDF

 

Latest Threads

Top