Pension Increase


Just announced on BBC Gurkhas are to get a 19% rise, no link yet.


Now a piece in the Mail:
Gurkhas are to benefit from a "significant" increase in their pensions, junior defence minister Derek Twigg announced today.

The move, backdated to January 2006, will mean most pensioners who were ranked as Corporal or below will receive a 19% increase.

The new scheme, which will cost £6 million a year, follows a long-running campaign by veterans of the elite Nepalese unit to secure fairer pensions.

The decision follows a long-running campaign for fair treatment

In a written statement to MPs, Mr Twigg said: "I am pleased to inform the House that there will be a significant increase in Gurkha pensions backdated to January 2006.

"The increase is in line with the tripartite agreement which established a linkage between Indian Army pensions and those of the British Brigade of Gurkhas.

"It has always been our policy to ensure a fair deal for the 26,500 Gurkha pensioners, mainly living in Nepal, who will receive an increase in their pension rates.

"This is in addition to the 7% increase they received earlier this year as part of their annual inflationary uplift.

"Over 85% of pensioners who were of the rank of Corporal or below will receive an increase to their pension of at least 19%."

Mr Twigg added: "This increase sustains Gurkha service pensions at a fair and appropriate level and demonstrates the Government's continuing commitment to the retired Gurkha community in Nepal."

The Gurkha pension scheme currently costs some £33 million a year and the Defence Ministry has calculated the increase will add a further £6 million.

Nepalese Gurkha soldiers - known for their exceptional bravery and their motto, "It is better to die than live a coward" - have been serving in the British army since 1815.

Their pensions have historically been at lower levels than UK counterparts because many retire to their native country where the cost of living is lower.

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