The Stirrer

news that matters, campaigns that count

for Birmingham, the Black Country and beyond

Military Families Blog

MINISTRY OF OFFENCE

31-12-2007

The Ministry of Defence has upset forces families by cashing in on charities who want to raise cash for injured veterans.  Carol Jones goes on the offensive.

Scrooge MOD chiefs are making a fortune by charging forces' charities for holding events on military land.

Warped ministry rules - exposed by The Sun - mean do-gooders have to pay full commercial rents for their events.

In one of the worst examples, the Army Benevolent Fund was landed with a £7,000 bill for using Sandhurst for a gala - while top actress Dame Judi Dench and Myleene Klass gave up their time for free.

Other charities hit include the SSAFA - who help hard-up squaddies and their families – and Children In Need.

Livid soldiers are petitioning PM Gordon Brown against making charities pay the same rent as private firms for events ranging from posh dinners to sponsored bike rides and parachute jumps.

Up to a sixth of cash raised by charity events on military land in the last 18 months has gone to paying the rents - making the Treasury tens of thousands of pounds.

Jeremy Clarkson, patron of Help for Heroes campaign , said: "Forces charities don't exist to make money for shareholders - they do it for the MOD'S own people."

If the Government has any compassion it must scrap these charges immediately.

New Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg vowed to champion the issue in Parliament. He said:" We ask for the ultimate sacrifice from our service men and women yet the Government continues to treat them in this shabby and disrespectful way".

An MOD Spokeswomen said: " We charge to recover insurance, maintenance and admin fees – and cannot differentiate charities from other organisations".

The online peition to the PM has almost 1,000 signatures including serving officers.

To sign the petition log onto the  www.mfsg.org.uk  

The Stirrer Forum

The Stirrer home

©2007 The Stirrer