Laws protecting soldiers from witch-hunts will block compensation bids
Anger over time limit on troops’ claims for injuries amid warnings the new laws to protect soldiers from legal witch-hunts will block compensation bids
- New laws to protect British troops will put a time limit on compensation claims
- Defence spokesman John Healey said the new bill amounted to ‘penny-pinching’
- Ministers hope the bill will end ‘vexatious’ legal probes that soldiers have faced
New laws aimed at protecting British troops from relentless legal witch-hunts will block soldiers’ own injury claims, Labour warns today.
Defence spokesman John Healey said parts of a new bill amounted to ‘penny-pinching’ because they put a time limit on compensation claims from UK forces.
It means soldiers who have suffered life-changing trauma could find it more difficult to seek compensation.
New laws aimed at protecting British troops from relentless legal witch-hunts will block soldiers’ own injury claims (file photo)
Figures uncovered by Labour reveal the Ministry of Defence could save millions from future claims when the Overseas Operations Bill becomes law.
The bill, which will be debated in the Commons tomorrow, puts a five-year time limit on claims against British soldiers by insurgents or civilians.
Ministers hope this will end the relentless ‘vexatious’ legal probes that soldiers have faced for more than a decade after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But Labour says the bill also puts a six-year deadline on compensation claims against the MoD brought by troops or their families for injuries and loss while posted overseas.
Defence spokesman John Healey (above) said parts of a new bill amounted to ‘penny-pinching’ because they put a time limit on compensation claims from UK forces
Labour said the bill will ‘deny troops serving overseas the same employment rights as everyone they serve to defend back home’.
The party wants claims from troops themselves to be exempt from the time limits.
Mr Healey said: ‘This is an ‘MoD protection bill’ that will block rightful claims from our own British troops when the MoD fails them. It’s penny-pinching.’
The MoD said: ‘The changes to the time limits for bringing claims are needed to stop service personnel and veterans having to repeatedly give evidence in relation to historical incidents.’
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