A hero is someone who defends and protects and can fight in the face of danger, someone who sacrifices in order to save others, someone with courage that ought to be admired. The military plays a vital role in our lives every day, they risk their life to fight for their country and save not only their family and friends but billions of people that they do not know, they are people we know nothing about but win our brutal battles, so why should our heroes be facing financial troubles? Why are they risking death in Afghanistan and Iraq just to get paid half of the minimum wage? Why must they be protecting themselves and also worrying about if their kids get presents for Christmas.
They do everything we are not courageous enough to do, they are going through financial debts and struggling to keep themselves afloat.
The first reason military personnels need to be paid more is the issue of fair pay.
Regular soldiers earn a lowly sum of ?18,000 a year, even firemen earn a third more. And if they are not considered for promotion they will remain on that flat salary. For the last six years forces personnel have seen pay rise of just 1% which is instantly eradicated by an increase to accommodation charges. There is no option for an individual to ask for an advancement early, so what they see is what they get and unlike many workers they cannot get another job at the same time.
In March the NHS were offered an average pay increase of 6.5% over three years with the lowest paid enjoying a 29% bonus. Police officers have also received a percentage increase and bonus and fire fighters just rejected an offer of a 2% rise.
This Low salary is leading to financial stress from both the soldiers and their family because they are unable to save for the future. With inflation and accommodation rates increasing, 77% of service members have financial worries, and more than half say that they are very worried about the potential loss of income resulting from defence cuts and downsizing. 28% of service member are more worried about their financial situation which will affect their future in the military and the survey findings by NFCC indicate the financial concern of our military families. According to Mark Fran?ois, a member of the defence committee, it is scandalous that as service men and women are fighting for this country, their kids are having cold showers because they havent repaired their boilers.
The salary is too low to keep supplying everything they need when they come back home so they have to find a source of income immediately this means they face more financial troubles. Almost twice as likely to carry credit card debt from month to month than civilians according to recent survey from NFCC, shockingly they are four times more likely to become homeless within the next year according to a survey of 100 published in the American Journal of Health. 30% of soldiers in the survey said they had gone over their credit limit , bounced or fallen victim to a money scam, and to make things worst they are unable to find good jobs when they come because 46% have to compete with candidates who were in the workplace longer, while 28% of the employers dont think they have adequate skills, within the last year two- thirds of soldiers experience a difficult transition from military to civilian life because of their unemployment and health challenges .This might not seem like a relevant reason for why they need a pay rise but this is one of the most important reasons because this people just came back from a different type of lifestyle, many of them are hurt, going through psychological issues and emotional breakdown. They need time to put themselves back together but because they are not able to save money they have no other choice but to go and get a work immediately, they have to find a way to pay their rent and heating. These heroic men and women face challenges protecting our country thus financial concern should not be one.
We need to pay more to protect recruitment for our nations security. All 3 branches of the military are running to a standstill as the struggle to recruit enough personnel to replace those who were leaving according to a study a commissioned by downsizing street last year. According to the former army captain Ellewood there needs to be a pay rise to retain the same defence posture given the dangers, the complexities of the world we face. People can argue that with the number of active soldiers and with the amount the military spends on operation, maintenance, research and equipment, their budget is not big enough to give the soldiers a pay rise. This is understandable but the rate at which soldiers are leaving and no one is replacing them is troublesome because even if they might have the best equipment, they still need people to carry out their operations, recruitment needs to be protected and the soldiers need to stop worrying about how they can provide for their family.
Clearly, our heroes that we are meant to admire are not even being valued. There is no real attempt to recognise their hard work and sacrifice. Their families are going through hardship because they chose to defend our country, our nations and our freedom. This issue of a pay rise is not only affecting them right now, but it is going to affect the future because people do not want to work in a place that they would not be able to support their families, if this goes on our defence might be weaker in the future. The pay rise is not only about them, but it is also about us and the security of our country.