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At a time of year when we're being exhorted to buy our Remembrance Day poppies, how well are we treating the troops of today in Iraq and Afghanistan? As Barbara Panvel reports, they're are being asked to double their life insurance premiums.

I try to keep away from my computer at weekend, but opened it after hearing on the radio that young soldiers receiving little more than 12,000 a year after tax are paying private insurance premiums of up to 1,000 to make up for inadequate government compensation.

Worse still: increasing deaths and injuries are leading insurance companies to 'nearly double' current premiums to be paid by those directed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Details were found on the Scotsman's website (see link here)

The hike in the officially recommended insurance scheme, known as Pax, and run by insurance giant AIG, is blamed on high casualty rates in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The document says that a surge in payouts has wiped out the scheme's profits. The MoD's own limited compensation scheme pays out only 28,750 to a soldier who loses an eye. But those with full private insurance get 150,000.

I cannot find printable words to express what I felt on learning this.

Soldiers, asked to undertake an unrewarding and hazardous mission in a foreign country and often put in additional danger because of poorly designed or missing equipment, are now to be required to spend a substantial proportion of their small wage on insurance to compensate them if maimed in such ventures.

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