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One in eight Gurkhas to lose jobs as UK MoD announces armed forces cuts

London, Tue, 17 Jan 2012 ANI

London, Jan 17 (ANI): One in eight Gurkhas will lose their job as British Ministry of Defence is expected to announce plans to make 4,000 members of the Armed Forces redundant.


Over 400 Gurkhas, equivalent to almost an entire battalion, will be among 2,800 soldiers to lose their jobs, while the RAF is cutting 1,000 and the Royal Navy 500 heads.


The MoD has sent over 14,000 notices to personnel in each of the three services offering them voluntary redundancy, but it is expected some compulsory redundancies will have to be made.


Soldiers serving in Afghanistan are among those to receive the notices, although they will be protected from compulsory redundancy, The Telegraph reports.


The 3,400-member Brigade of Gurkhas is more vulnerable to redundancies after their terms of service changed four years ago, allowing them to serve for 22 years rather than the previous 15 years.


Nearly all Gurkhas chose to extend their contracts, which increased the number in the brigade. The MoD said the changes made it more expensive to employ them, making them more vulnerable to cost-cutting redundancies.


"As nearly all the Gurkhas chose to serve longer, this has meant that the Brigade has grown over time and needs to be reduced to its proper size," the paper quoted a spokesman for the MoD, as saying.


The news would definitely be embarrassing for Andrew Mitchell, the International Development Secretary, who lands in Nepal today as part of a trip to demonstrate how Britain is helping Gurkha families. (ANI)


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