£29 a day 'danger money' for troops

Defence Secretary Liam Fox has confirmed that British troops serving in Libya will be paid a 'danger allowance' of £29.02 per day extra, equivalent to £203.14 a week. (Who decides these figures? Was £30 a day really too much?) The allowance had initially been denied British troops. But Dr Fox has changed his mind.

Danger payments

It's a neat PR move at a time when the Libyan operation appears to have reached an impasse - and European and US support is waning for it. Air crews are also included as well as those on ships and submarines operating within 12 nautical miles of the LIbyan coast.

British troops in Afghanistan already receive the £29-per-day allowance. The change of heart will also be a morale boost for troops, many of whom must be wondering just how much support they are really getting given current NATO wobbles.

Costs rise

Meanwhile the overall costs continue to rise. The most recent figures put the cost of the UK LIbyan campaign at £260m including weapons replenishment - considerably higher than predicted. And if the campaign drags into winter, then the cost may come closer to £1bn.

That's some distance from George Osborne's "tens of millions" in March. The cost of the war is claimed to come from government reserves. Which sounds like a huge, comforting mysterious stash of emergency cash we can dip into in exceptional circumstances.

But it is still taxpayers' money, of course. Which is needed because we have now three open-ended wars going on simultaneously. With no end in sight to any of them. And that is very costly.
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