Fury as services pay for parcels

AN ex-serviceman has slammed the Government for failing to reinstate free parcels for the armed forces. Terence Salter spoke out after paying £7 a time to send parcels to his 19-year-old son. He said: My son Lee s serving in the Royal Marines and he s ju

AN ex-serviceman has slammed the Government for failing to reinstate free parcels for the armed forces.

Terence Salter spoke out after paying £7 a time to send parcels to his 19-year-old son.

He said: "My son Lee's serving in the Royal Marines and he's just returned from Afghanistan after six months.

"During that time we sent shoe boxes out to Afghanistan. I wrote to Barbara Follett and she forwarded the letter to Whitehall.


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"Adam Ingram, minister of state for the armed forces, indicated that it wasn't going to be changed because we receive a discount already.

"According to him he's approached many people in the service about free parcels and it wasn't seen as a priority."

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"The mail is handed over to the military parcel service. It's flown out by military aircraft, it's not taken by Royal Mail."

The 46-year-old from Stevenage is also annoyed at the fact his son, and other servicemen he has spoken to, have had to buy their own clothes. He said: "My lad had to buy his own desert boots because the MoD was short.

"At the time he was told he wouldn't get his money back, but Barbara Follett is looking into it because she said she is disgusted by it."

Terence served for six years in the RAF and three years in the Territorial Army. He is also treasurer for the RAF Regiments Association in Lincolnshire.

His son Lee is currently on leave for nine weeks from the forces.

Cllr Andrew Young made a motion at a recent North Herts Council meeting for the Government to reinstate the right to send free packages to the armed forces.

It is free to send letters but decisions were made to end the free parcel scheme in 2004.

Cllr Young said: "It's important for these people. They are lower paid than most servicemen across the world, we're one of the meanest governments.

"I'd be delighted to support him and anyone else with their views and the motion was passed unanimously.

"I would be happy to meet up with this chap, talk it through, and see how we can support him, because we have a lot of servicemen living in our patch.

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