Bonus row hits defence bureaucrats

By Alex Stevenson

Civil servants’ bonuses in the Ministry of Defence have been condemned by bereaved military families as “obscene”.

Civilian staff within the MoD have already received £47 million so far this financial year. Last year they received £52 million in bonuses.

Relatives of soldiers who have died in Afghanistan expressed anger at the news, revealed by defence minister Kevan Jones in response to a parliamentary question.

Hazel Hunt, whose 21-year-old son Richard was killed in August, said: “It’s obscene they have got such bonuses while our troops are being short-changed, not only in equipment but also in the fact that my son was barely on £17,000 a year.

“You wouldn’t imagine a single civil servant going out to the front line for that money.”

Home secretary Alan Johnson defended the bonus scheme, which will see ordinary staff receive bonuses of around £1,000, on GMTV this morning.

He pointed out many civilian staff within the MoD had to go to Afghanistan and work in “dangerous” conditions, which meant they deserved their bonuses.