Breaking LONDON Westminster

Gurkha veterans have gone on hunger strike opposite Downing Street as part of a campaign for equal pension rights

 

Three volunteers are taking part in an indefinite hunger strike, organised by the British Gurkha Satyagraha United Struggle Committee, following a 13 day long relay hunger strike last month. Gurkha veterans who retired before 1997 are not eligible for a UK Armed Forces pension, unlike their British counterparts.


Serving Gurkhas, as well as those with service on or after 1 July 1997, will receive an offer to transfer to the Armed Forces Pension Scheme (AFPS). A year’s service after 1 July 1997 counts as a year’s service in the AFPS.

However, a year’s service before 1 July 1997 only counts as a proportion of a full service year – between 23% and 36% depending on rank.

 

Similar hunger strikes have occurred in the past, such as in 2013 under Prime Minister David Cameron. The former PM created an all party parliamentary group to resolve this issue after a previous 15 day-long hunger strike by this same Committee.