Brits to axe 11,000 armed forces

Townsville Bulletin - - World Snapshot -

BRI­TAIN says it will axe about 11,000 armed forces jobs as part of de­fence cuts brought in to help re­duce the coun­try’s record bud­get deficit.

The an­nounce­ment on Tues­day added de­tail to the broad fig­ures out­lined by fi­nance min­is­ter Ge­orge Os­borne in last Oc­to­ber’s spend­ing re­view. The size of Bri­tain’s armed forces will be re­duced by 17,000 per­son­nel by 2015.

‘‘ There will be scope for in­di­vid­u­als to vol­un­teer to be con­sid­ered for re­dun­dancy and where pos­si­ble we will meet our man­power tar­get through vol­un­teers,’’ De­fence Sec­re­tary Liam Fox said.

‘‘ But some dif­fi­cult choices are sadly in­evitable.’’

The cuts are likely to af­fect front­line troops in Afghanistan.

Min­is­ters in­formed the army that no troops who were serv­ing in Afghanistan when the re­dun­dan­cies be­gan in Septem­ber would be sacked.

How­ever, that means that al­most all per­son­nel now in the war-torn coun­try are el­i­gi­ble for re­dun­dancy as they are due home be­fore the Septem­ber cut-off.

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