Thousands of injured British troops or those unfit for combat duties, including those from the frontline in Afghanistan and Iraq, are to be eased out of the armed forces amid growing pressure on public finances, a news report has said.
Even as Kevan Jones, the VeteransÆ Minister, defended the plan, senior military sources claimed that it was designed to ease out injured and sick "bed blockers" from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) payroll.
"Up to now it has usually been possible to find odd jobs for these people. Now they are blocking the recruitment of young, fit soldiers and have to be medically discharged because no extra money can be found to pay them," a senior officer in the personnel department was quoted as saying by the Sunday Times.
The plan, which will be unfurled this autumn, aims to target between 5,000 and 6,000 service personnel who have been identified as medically unfit but are still on the payroll, the report in the British daily said.
Details of what the MoD will offer injured soldiers to leave the armed forces are still being worked out but senior military figures are concerned over the new strategy. Insiders have claimed that the growing bill for these people is hindering the recruitment of younger soldiers.