Soldier to get extra £49,000 for injuries (UK)
A SOLDIER who lost his leg after stepping on a landmine in Afghanistan is to receive an extra £49,000 in compensation.
Matthew Woollard, 18, was originally given £49,000 by the Government, for the debilitating injury he suffered while on patrol in the notorious Helmand Province in May 2007.
That figure will now be doubled under changes to the Government's armed services compensation scheme announced yesterday.
He said: "I will get 100 per cent more than what I received originally, which I'm obviously really pleased about.
"I think the changes to compensation will make the compensation payments much more realistic in future.
"However, I feel sorry for some of the less seriously injured soldiers, who will not be receiving anywhere near as much extra. Everyone should be given a fair amount."
Servicemen who have already received payments, for injuries suffered as far back as 2005, will receive an increase of between 10 per cent and 100 per cent of their original payment, depending on the seriousness of the injury.
Pte Woollard, from Southend, has also received a £108,000 payout, from armed services insurance company Abacus.
He has made a good recovery and is now able to run up to three miles on a prosthetic leg.
He said: "I'm back with the Army now and am concentrating on my rehabilitation.
"I'll be sent out to Kosovo next year. I don't know exactly what duties I'll be carrying out, but they're going to get me as close as possible to the action."
Defence minister Kevan Jones said: "Our armed forces are inspirational and they deserve the very best support. That is why I am determined to see through the package of measures we announced. This increase in our compensation package will be a great boost to our injured personnel."
Von: 16.12.2008, By Paul Offord, www.echo-news.co.uk