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A new look at priorities is needed
Every Government department has had to take its share of the cuts imposed under the Coalition’s austerity measures to pay off the deficit and try to get the country’s economy on a more even keel.
The Ministry of Defence is no different to any other Government department in this regard and has already been the subject of swingeing cuts. But the news that there is to be another major Army shake-up, which could see the historic Yorkshire Regiment merged with another unit or even axed, will cause much dismay.
The fate of the Yorkshire Regiment may well be only a matter for speculation at the moment but it is a very real fear at a time when our country’s forces are stretched on foreign shores.
It leaves an even more bitter taste in the mouth as it comes just hours after the revelation that the Ministry of Defence actually employs more accountants – 858 at their headquarters – than it does Army officers.
This seems shocking because, although the MoD needs administration as much as any other section of Government, it apparently employs more accountants than all the other Government departments combined.
When combined with the proposals to reduce the Army by 20,000 soldiers to 82,000 as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review, it makes you wonder whether priorities need to be looked at afresh.
It would be more sad than ironic if the Yorkshire Regiment, which has a long and illustrious history of serving right across the globe, should become a casualty not of enemy fire but of the axe wielded by the bean-counters at home who seem to be trying to balance the books no matter what the cost.