Ruth Cadbury MP has called for fresh commitments to the Gurkha community in Hounslow and across the UK, following a recent protest in regards to their pension rights.
Speaking in a House of Commons debate on Gurkha pensions on Monday (22 November), Ruth praised the work of Hounslow’s large Gurkha community, including the work of the borough’s Mayor Bishnu Gurung – who served as a staff sergeant.
Ruth spoke on the campaign for pension equality, and the impact the Government’s Universal Credit cut would have on many Gurkha families.
The debate was raised in parliament after a petition reached over 100,000 signatures, demanding that Gurkhas receive the same pensions as other British veterans of the same rank and service. In August, a group of Gurkha veterans went on a thirteen-day hunger strike outside the Ministry of Defence, only ending their strike after officials agreed to meet with the group and the Nepali ambassador.
The Gurkhas are soldiers native to South Asia of Nepalese nationality (and Ethnic Nepalese of Indian Nationality) who were recruited for the British Army.
Home Office are “fleecing” Gurkha ex-service personnel
During the debate, Ruth said the Home Office are “fleecing” Gurkha ex-service personnel and their families, by forcing them to pay £2,389 per person to settle in the UK. She added many Gurkhas already living in the UK are on low incomes because of the pension problem will have been impacted by the decision to cut £1,000 a year from universal credit.
Speaking after the debate, Ruth Cadbury MP said:
“In Hounslow we’re lucky to have a large Gurkha community, who have served both in our armed forces and also play a huge role in our local civic community
“That’s why I made sure to attend this debate and urge the Government to listen to the serious concerns that many Gurkhas have raised about their pensions. I also mentioned the impact that the Governments £1,000 a week cut to Universal Credit has had, along with the rip-off immigration fees that many Gurkhas and other commonwealth veterans still face.
“It’s time the Government to show their commitment to Gurkhas across the UK who’ve given so much for our country.’’
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