The Undervalued: the Case for Better Pay for British Soldiers

Gunshots whistle through the air. The medical team loses no time putting themselves in danger to save the wounded. The adrenalin rushes through the gunmen’s body’s making sure they hit the crucial shots to save the men who save our lives. The troops lose parts of their body and risk their lives for us. Soldiers do not get paid enough, do you know how much they get paid? £18,000 a year for all they do for the country, it is unbelievable.

£18,000 per year which works out at around £1,500 a month which isn’t too bad but compared to a football player who can make up to £82,000,000 a year, surely, we can agree this is shocking. No one should get paid that much for being able to score goals or do good tackles. Soldiers jeopardize their life defending our country and give up a lot of their privileges so people like us can have ours. Serving for your country surely means a lot more than competing in the world cup for millions of pounds. Think about the police. The police get paid on average £22,500 per year, the police do a lot for our country but how can they possibly get paid more than a soldier who doesn’t even get to go home to see their families every night. Troops get dropped off in war zones to battle for our country while police are arresting drug addicts and pulling over cars for speeding. Which one sounds more challenging to you?

In Iraq troops were getting paid very little. The Independent news said, “British soldiers risking death in Afghanistan and Iraq are being paid about half the national minimum wage”. When this war took place in 2006, the minimum wage was £5.35 per hour so soldiers were getting paid about £2.67 per hour. I think we can all recognise that this is disgraceful. The people who put in the most work and endanger their live to assure our safety are getting paid £2.67 per hour. That much money can be spent from going into a shop and buying a couple bars of chocolate. It is a joke. Someone in an office now will make around five times that amount. How were they soldiers meant to live of around £30 a day?

454 British soldiers died fighting against Afghanistan. That’s 454 families who will get that painful, dreaded knock on the door saying that their loved one has been killed. What would you do? Cry, breakdown. Imagine that evil feeling knowing you will never get to see them again. How would you be able to cope? Most families can’t, taking them months to get over their loss. We treat our soldiers who die for us by paying them £18,000 per year. How could we, it is so wrong. They take care of our country day after day and don’t get paid £50 a day.

According to the Mirror, 13,000 British soldiers have become homeless. Doesn’t that make you feel sick? After them putting their lives on the line and serving for several years they are left on the streets slowly rotten away, people will walk past them on regular basis not stopping offering them help, what kind of people are we. They are starving and we don’t acknowledge them after they have served for our country all that time. They simply don’t get the support and enough money they deserve.

A man called Harold Noel a 25-year-old man who served for the army turned from a hero to homeless, the man said “I fought for this country, I shed blood for this country. I watched friends die”. The man saved lives of soldiers and “all of his military medals were stolen at a homeless shelter”. The way soldiers are treading is disgusting and get no respect from their county. The people who chose to put themselves in unpleasant situations are getting rejected and being forced to live unpleasant lives. We must change this!

The 20-year period 1998-2017, 309 suicides occurred among UK regular Armed Forces. 17 of these were female and 292 were male. No human should ever think about suicide never mind our soldiers. They are left with no money, misery and feel they have had enough. Why are so many people left clueless and with no money after they have left the army? A trooper should have a good life with their family after they leave the armed forces, not thinking of suicide. In conclusion I think we can all agree that soldiers are definitely not paid enough. They are getting paid a little £50 a day for all the hard work and dedication they put into looking after our country. I think we need to recognise out soldiers more and see where they go wrong after leaving the army and becoming homeless.

01 February 2021
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