The Curmudgeon


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

We Owe Them So Much, But Not Quite That Much

Now that the war on Talibanism has been brought within measurable distance of its end, the Ministry for Nukes and Subs is naturally seeking to economise on some of its more deprioritisable expenses. Two injured soldiers were originally awarded more or less what a member of the House of Perks and Subs can claim in a year without producing a receipt; the high court increased the payments substantially, and the Ministry is now appealing against the ruling, on the grounds that the Government should not have to pay for long-term disabilities resulting from an injury, but only for the injury itself. No doubt the limbs grow back in time, so long as one takes plenty of exercise and refrains from asking the Government for money. Because the key principle of the scheme is "the most compensation for the most seriously injured", rather than anything silly like adequate compensation for everyone, the scheme also "does not allow benefits to be paid for injuries predominantly caused or made worse by tobacco, drugs and alcohol use, or for events occurring before the soldier entered the army". So if a soldier gets a limb blown off and then takes to drink because his friends died in the blast, the Ministry is presumably entitled to knock a few thousand off his payment in order that the taxpayer may be spared and the war on binge may be pursued with all due alacrity. If a soldier with athlete's foot should lose the afflicted appendage to a land mine, perhaps New New Labour will send the bailiffs round to collect a fee for "aggressive podiatry".


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