Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Army families 'forced to rely on charity food handouts'

Army families are being forced to rely on charity food handouts because they cannot make ends meet on the wages paid to low-ranking soldiers, it has been reported.

The problem is exacerbated when regiments are sent overseas on tour as spouses are hit with unexpected extra expenses such as childcare and bigger phone bills.

Foodbank, based in Salisbury, Wiltshire, has handed out food parcels to 245 struggling military families in three years.
The charity's network manager, Jeremy Ravn, told The Sun newspaper that wives and families resorted to the parcels when they were hit by unexpected expenses.

"There is always the cost of extra child care and travel and bigger phone bills," he said. "But because the lower ranks are not paid well, often just a large bill or a hiccup in the pay system is enough to push them over the edge.

"Speaking as an ex-soldier, it is very distressing to see forces people in this state. It is heartbreaking when you see them come in. But it's nice to be able to help them immediately."

Shadow Defence Secretary Liam Fox said the news was an "outrage".

"For a government that can find billions for bank bailouts, service families going hungry is a betrayal of Britain's finest," he told The Sun.

"This would have been a scandal in the 19th century. It's an outrage in the 21st century. What does it say about our country?"

Julie McCarthy, chairwoman of the Army Families Federation, agreed that the need for handouts was "beyond belief".

"It's not because they are over-spending," she said. "It's because they have to live on such tight budgets to survive. The regiments do what they can, but their welfare officers are often overwhelmed dealing with fatalities and the wounded.

"When I look at what we ask our soldiers to do, it makes me very angry. They surely have enough to worry about in Afghanistan without wondering if their families are able to eat."

An Army spokeswoman said: "For a variety of reasons, a number of personnel may find themselves in a situation where they need help managing their household budgets.

"The chain of command works closely with individual personnel to assist them. We also work closely with charities and Armed Forces Families Federations, which are sometimes approached by families for assistance, in order to ensure that help is co-ordinated and longer term solutions can be found."


Anonymous said...

Disgraceful !

tonydj said...

"Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap"

Tommy by Rudyard Kipling

And I thought that this line about "starvation cheap" was the only line of this superb poem which didn't apply anymore....
.... but I reckoned without Brown & Co.

GriffinWatch said...

Bloody scandalous, bordering on treachery.

Anonymous said...

They should not be working for the Govt then.

Anonymous said...

I see Gri££in is sending out more begging emails, this time using the names of Henry Allington & Harry Patch as well as evoking the memory of the Second world war troops who fought and fell and our boys fighting and dying in Afghanistan at present. How dare this cowardly, treacherous, bastard desecrate their memories for financial gain, how low can Gri££in get? Hang your head in shame you piece of shit!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I remember reading about Jeffrey Archer's father William who claimed he was a WW1 hero with medals, but hadn't been in the army and started a bogus charity to collect money for artificial limbs for the wounded soldiers and pocketed the lot, it's the same mentality as Gri££in?

richard chadfield said...

why is everyone shocked? Can there really be anyone who is so naive as to truely belief that the Westminster gangsters have any feeling other than contempt for British soldiers. Did anyone really expect the Westminster gangsters ,those who jointly started the Iraq war ( resulting in ,it is estimated, one million dead iraqi's and four million Iraqi refugees)on lies (remember those W.M.D etc?) to have any genuine concern for British soldiers? Here is what politicians think of soldiers. This is reportedly from Mr Kissinger and can be found at :
"dumb, stupid animals to be used"
So there you have it.
British soldiers should ,perhaps, ask themselves who their enemy really is. I don't think it is the people of Iraq.
Richard Chadfield

Anonymous said...

In the latest begging letters from Griffin they say that Henry Allingham was in the trenches, he wasn't. He was in the RAF in support of the soldiers in the trenches.

Anonymous said...

Anyone ever wonder why this useless Government don't really lean on Griffin ?

He is their little toy, their Safety Valve, he is yet another distraction like Swine Flu and Global Warming. They tolerate him because HE makes them look good.

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