I have been becoming increasingly irritated at the way in which the Ministry of Defence have appeared to be engaging with veterans about their pensions and compensation.  I recently tabled three questions on the subject and have now had the response to the first of these.

The question was:

“Lord Harris of Haringey to ask Her Majesty’s Government what were the total administrative and legal costs incurred by the Ministry of Defence in contesting war pension claims in each of the last five years. HL5842?

The answer I have had tells me:

“The Service personnel and Veterans Agency administers the War Pensions Scheme.  The external legal costs incurred by them in contesting war pension claims in each of the last five years are as follows:

2004/5          £405,284

2005/6          £415,269

2006/7         £491,054

2007/8         £436,924

2008/9         £483,901

TOTAL      £2,232,432

It is not often that I am lost for words, but as we approach Remembrance Day I have to admit to being dumb-founded.  I know lawyers are expensive, but I just hope that those who approved this expenditure thought about the human consequences of the legal quibbling in which they were engaged ……

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