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Voice Of The Sunday Mirror: A sick game with lives of our soldiers.

ONLY the Ministry of Defence would have the utter stupidity to reduce the pay of soldiers in the line of fire.

And only the MoD could then defend its decision by saying our troops get other compensations, such as playing Monopoly.

If Geoff Hoon believes that, he should go directly to jail.

American forces being replaced by the Black Watch in Iraq are paid an extra pounds 175 a month. Their pay is also tax-free and if they are killed, insurance payouts ensure their dependants want for nothing.

It's very different from what British soldiers can expect.

In contrast our troops will be allowed to make free phone calls home and won't have to pay to post their letters. And of course they also have access to free board games, as well as DVDs and books.

In its defence, the MoD says there is nowhere for our troops to spend their cash... totally ignoring the fact that many of them have young families who might desperately need some extra money.

What politician could be so pigheaded and ignorant as to tolerate such a disgraceful state of affairs? Just one - Geoff Hoon.

Still, our troops risking death at the hands of Iraqi insurgents know they can watch an old Doris Day movie when they get back to barracks. If they get back to barracks.

What dribbling old fool of a general thought up the lunatic structure that means soldiers get more money when they are playing war games than when they face the real thing?

Every Minister of Defence pays lip service to the duty of care they owe "Our Boys" whenever they are asked to do a government's dirty work. Hypocrites every one of them.

The pay structure in Iraq is degrading enough. But the MoD's cavalier justification is a disgrace to the British Army.
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Title Annotation:Leader
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 24, 2004
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