21/01/2012 14:17 GMT

MoD Pays Out £75m To Civil Servants Made Redundant

The Ministry of Defence's decision to pay out £75m in redundancy cheques to civil servants at the same time that it is cutting thousands of military posts has been criticsed by Labour.

Official figures show that the 2,500 civilian staff received an average payout of £30,000.

Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy said the move would damage moral among service personnel."David Cameron is culling the Army in their thousands while spending millions on civil service pay-offs," he said.

"He needs to get his priorities straight. People worried about the impact of the cuts on families and the front line will be angry at this news."

A MoD spokesman said that on average civilian staff received "considerably less" than the military personnel who were being made redundant.

"Where a sergeant receives an average payoff of around £65,000, a civilian receives around £30,000 on average," the spokesman said.

"The MoD civilian workforce is reducing by around 33% compared to a reduction of 17.5% in military manpower."

The figures were uncovered by Labour MP Jon Trickett who tabled parliamentary questions requesting the data be disclosed.

More than 4,000 members of the armed forces are to lose their jobs in the latest wave of cuts the coalition.

The cuts, which will affect up to 2,900 members of the Army, 1,000 Royal Air Force personnel and 300 members of the Royal Navy, form the second tranche of the redundancy programme set out in the government's Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) and are intended to help plug the £38 billion black hole in the defence budget.

Defence secretary Philip Hammond has insisted the government had "no choice" but to axe the posts