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MoD "penny pinching" threatens future of Cumbrian army cadet programme warns Farron

December 18, 2009 12:00 AM

The future of the Cumbria Army Cadet Force could be under threat as a result of the decision by the Ministry of Defence to slash funding given to the army cadet programme according to South Lakeland MP Tim Farron.

In an answer to a Parliamentary Question, the MoD revealed plans to cut funding to army cadet programme by 10%-saving a paltry £4million.

The Army Cadet Force is one of the largest youth organisations in the country with more than 8500 instructors and 45,000 members aged 12 to 18, with the MoD's own research showing that between 15 and 20 per cent of youngsters who train with the cadets go on to join the forces. Mr Farron has expressed his concern that the MoD's "penny pinching" could have an adverse effect on future recruitment to the armed forces.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"The MoD is clearly involved in crisis management, slashing budgets wherever they can, with penny pinching defence chiefs effectively asking army cadet instructors to train the next generation of soldiers for nothing.

"Programmes such as the Cumbria Army Cadet Force are renowned for promoting discipline, achievement and good citizenship. But the MoD seems more concerned with saving a quick buck instead of training the next generation of soldiers.

"The MoD has got their priorities all wrong and I'm very worried about the impact this will have on future army recruitment and retention rates."