Not another Gurkha Hunger Strike

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Gurkha Veterans Stage Hunger Strike In Campaign For Equal Pension Rights
Harry Adams James Hirst
27th July 2021 at 4:54pm
They are campaigning for equality because Gurkha veterans who retired before 1997 are not eligible for a UK Armed Forces pension.
Gurkha veterans have gone on hunger strike in London as part of a campaign for equal pension rights.
The veterans, taking part in a 24-hour rotation hunger strike in Whitehall, London, are protesting because Gurkha veterans who retired before 1997 are not eligible for a UK Armed Forces pension.
In response, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) said in a statement: "We greatly value the huge contribution Gurkhas make to the British Army and ensure they are supported with a generous pension and medical care during retirement in Nepal.
"We are committed to ensuring the Gurkha Pension Scheme is sustainable and fair alongside other UK public sector pensions," it added.
Serving Gurkhas, as well as those with service on or after 1 July 1997, will receive an Offer to Transfer (GOTT) to the Armed Forces Pension Scheme (AFPS).
A year's service after 1 July 1997 counts as a year's service in the AFPS.
However, a year's service before 1 July 1997 only counts as a proportion of a full service year – between 23% and 36% depending on rank.
The reason 1 July 1997 was selected as the key date is because that is when the UK became the base for the Brigade of Gurkhas.
The change in immigration rules, dating back to 1 July 1997, meant there was a higher chance Gurkha veterans would stay in the UK after being discharged from the military.
The previous scheme, the Gurkha Pension Scheme (GPS), was based on the Indian Army Model – providing an immediate pension at Indian army rates.
However, the UK Government says it was designed for retirement in Nepal, where the cost of living is lower than in the UK.
In March 2019, ministers announced a number of measures to increase the support Gurkha veterans receive.
That came after a long process of dialogue with the veterans and regular interaction with the Nepalese government.
This saw pensions under the Gurkha Pension Scheme increase by between 10% and 34%, as well as the annual inflation rise.
It also saw £25m of new investment into medical and healthcare facilities for Gurkha veterans in Nepal.
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Link Gurkha Hunger Campaign for Equal Rights

This despite the previous (or still-ongoing) campaign arguments being rejected all the way up to the ECHR
Despite ostensibly getting nowhere on the previous Hunger Strike to the Death ( but HMG quietly giving them a massive increase in 2019)
and despite the government demonstrating that a pre-1997 Gurkha who retired after 15 year's service would received a larger amount over a notional 70 year life-span than would his 22- year service counterpart.

It's the politics of mis-placed jealousy (because either they are turning a blind eye or are in ignorance of what the average British recruited ex-soldier receives ( or in many cases doesn't receive) in the way of service pensions. Still there will be many who will swallow their hype.

Sod 'em
 
Good. Hopefully loads will kark it and we won't have to support them and their massive extended families.
Fortunately (for them), no one ever dies in a Nepalese hunger strike, They've evolved a stag-on, stag-off system called a Rotational Hunger Strike which is what's taking place in this case. This form of dieting might even do some of them some good, even if a blind eye wasn't turned to cheating.
 
We don't need Nepalese troops when our own military has and is being cut.
Totally agree. The only reason the Ghurka battalions made any sense was they were cheap. Now the greedy members of the battalions have cancelled the cost benefit we may as well just tell them goodbye and thanks for all the fish.
I have no idea why we should be enhancing what is effectively a kings ransom in comparison to what they would earn at home. If they don't like the TOC don't sign up.
 
I heard a rumour that they weren't trained in NBC or whatever it's called these days , and respirators were only used if CS was being chucked around in a Hong Kong riot.
Any truth or is it the usual bowlocks.
 
I disagree in part, they have done their bit and entitled to a slice of cake just like every one of us. A soldier is a soldier and if someone is willing to put themselves in harms way in the service and protection of others. who are the beancounters to differentiate? Yes the amount of pension may be a fortune in Nepal, but so what. Men serving the crown should be treated equally. Not being a snowflake on this but I think it is wrong.
 
I disagree in part, they have done their bit and entitled to a slice of cake just like every one of us. A soldier is a soldier and if someone is willing to put themselves in harms way in the service and protection of others. who are the beancounters to differentiate? Yes the amount of pension may be a fortune in Nepal, but so what. Men serving the crown should be treated equally. Not being a snowflake on this but I think it is wrong.
Prior to 1997 though they were under diferent terms of service to British soldiers as they came under the 1948 tripartite agreement with India and Nepal. They used to get an immediate pension after 15 years service and 6 months Nepal leave every three years with free return flight home.

The Hong Kong Military Service Corp composed of local enlisted Chinese soldiers serving alongside British and Gurkha soldiers in the HK garrison were also ultimatelly serving the British crown (although paid by the HK government) but were under different terms of service.
 
From a young Nepalese Lady demonstrator being interviewed in another article;

""....whereas the average British ex-serviceman gets a pension of £1500 a month""

Well. that's comforting to know.
 
I just think there should be parity, it is no different to civvy street and minimum wage, for example i am fifty and work the bar and get £8.91 an hour but young new boy at 18 gets only £6.56 , doing the same job.
But pensions are different, if you have done your time damn right you have earnt it. It was all fine when we were in need in the past but to just bin them off with a cheers and bye is not only wrong it is bad form to be honest. Just sometimes the world confuses me on it's lack of humility, just seems to be every man for himself and fcuk you attitude.
 
Sorry, but TACOS are TACOS.

The new pension is shit for HM Forces compared to AFPS 75. Will there be further retrospective action as regards this?

No. No, there effing well won't be. You sign up, you get (largely) what you signed for.

Further, Aldershot looked like a bomb had hit the town centre when I was doing my CTW etc. in 2011 with wandering groups of clearly confused and scared Nepalese grandparents filling the place. Folkestone was grim too.
 
Sorry, but TACOS are TACOS.

The new pension is shit for HM Forces compared to AFPS 75. Will there be further retrospective action as regards this?

No. No, there effing well won't be. You sign up, you get (largely) what you signed for.

Further, Aldershot looked like a bomb had hit the town centre when I was doing my CTW etc. in 2011 with wandering groups of clearly confused and scared Nepalese grandparents filling the place. Folkestone was grim too.
Ashford seems to attract quite a few.
 
They are foreign contractors from a nation with a much lower cost of living, if they can't do the job for less there is no reason to keep employing them.
 
...And then the call went out for wheelchairs ;

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It is said that the police moved Former British Gurkha Veterans protesting from The place they were resting at 2am to the pen opposite Downing Street under the threat of arrest if they went to sleep. It was told by police that as some of them fell asleep overnight. [if you are using the demo pen you are not allowed to sleep there so they were told to remove all seating and this meant they would have to sit on the floor.]
Thereafter there was call over the social media to donate used wheelchairs to the Former British Gurkha Veterans sitting on the relay hunger strike as Police cannot remove them from the wheelchairs.
One social media post read, “Call out Folding wheel chairs – Anybody have a unused folding wheel chair plz take it to the Gurkha on Hunger strike in London the police can’t remove these from you I’m not asking anybody to buy them only if you have one not being used The Gurkha needs them.”
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Link; Gurkhas call for compensation and higher pensions ....and wheelchairs.

Interestingly, GAESO, the most militant of the Gurkha trades union, has distanced itself from the protest.
It's more about political ambition and caste rivalry than righting a so-called wrong.
 
I think the only thing keeping the Gurkhas going is the battalion in Brunei paid for by the Sultan. Twenty four years after the handover of Hong Kong and 73 years after they became part of the British Army it is time to let them go. They are probably more expensive than British soldiers now and we are restricted in a lot of scenarios where we can use them. It would be an ideal time with these latest Defence cuts. We seem to be able to recruit all the soldiers we want from the Commonwealth when we need them anyway.
 

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