Council tax rebate for troops in war zones
Armed Forces personnel fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan will have around a quarter of their Council Tax bill refunded, in a new policy announced today.
Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, is expected to confirm the move at the Labour Party conference this afternoon, telling delegates that troops on a six-month tour of duty will qualify for a flat-rate £140 rebate.
The gesture comes after heavy criticism of the Government's treatment of serving soldiers. The head of the Army complained this week that ministers were in danger of breaking the 'military covenant' - the unspoken agreement that soldiers who served their country should be respected and well treated in return.
But Conservatives condemned the policy as divisive, as not all serving soldiers would qualify for the rebate, and warned that the Government had set aside no new money to pay for it.