A Freedom of Information request that I sent via the fantastic Whatdotheyknow.com on 29th April has finally been answered a mere two months and one internal review late.
I asked them to "Please supply details of the calculation used to determine the £1.4
billion cost of settlement rights for Gurkhas."
Their eventual reply (obviously available on WDTK) was that the figure assumes (among other things) that:
- All 36,000 who retired between 1948 and 1997 would choose to settle if they were able to do so
- None of the dependants (including spouse, children under 18, unmarried dependant children 18-30, elderly parents living with the main applicant - and assuming half of children 18-30 are married) work
- All settling families are on Child Tax Credits maximum award.
While I am obviously not a Gurka expert I would not have thought that those assumptions were particularly likely to apply to any group. No wonder that nice Mr Woolas so stenuously avoided answering any questions on the figures...