Martin Cakebread is a former elected Board Director of the independent defence and foreign affairs campaign group UKNDA and a former strategy consultant on the David James report. Here he responds to the news on the front page of today's Daily Telegraph that paratroopers who have just returned from Afghanistan face a pay cut of as much as 10%.
I, like many of you, am all for economic stability. I have advocated it, I support it and I believe in economic security. What I do not agree with is cutting our Armed Forces' pay, particularly those men and women who have risked their lives,
served on the front line and faced the enemy head on.
It is not right. It is not clever. It is not something I support. We all acknowledge the need to resolve the UK's ballooning deficit and debt.
Yet we seem unwilling to face the biggest liability of all - public sector final salary pensions. Most recently estimated to cost each and every one of us over one trillion pounds. Reform of those gold plated pensions has barely been touched. And to suggest that MPs pensions are "sacred" is frankly insulting at a time when the rest of the country can just about survive.
Our Armed Forces are not expendable. Nor are they mugs. I have the upmost confidence in the Government, however, there are times when some greater thought needs to go in to the decisions that directly affect the lives of a brave minority who are time and again asked to do 'more with less'.