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ARMY CUTS PUT ON ICE.

Byline: EXCLUSIVE by MIKE HAMILTON

MILITARY top brass may scrap the next round of troop redundancies - because they are unlikely to be needed.

Thousands of soldiers are quitting and recruitment is down as the Army faces a manpower crisis.

Axing the fourth planned redundancy programme would spare the Tory-led Government the embarrassment of troops leaving their jobs in January 2015 - the start of election year. Almost 20,000 Army jobs have been lost under the Coalition as well as 5,000 in the Navy and 5,000 in the RAF.

Recruitment is five per cent down on this time last year and all 37 infantry battalions have a shortfall in manpower. A source said: "There is a crisis ...people are leaving in droves."

Top brass will need to get Decision Hammond Defence Secretary Philip Hammond to agree. The Army is due to shrink to 82,000 by 2020, with the TA growing.

However, an MOD spokesman said: "The Army is reducing in size and we have been clear that it is likely this will require a further redundancy tranche. No final decisions have been taken."

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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 11, 2013
Words:189
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