We are the British Armed Forces Federation (BAFF), the independent all-ranks staff association for regular, reserve and veteran UK forces personnel. BAFF is not connected with the Ministry of Defence. The BAFF mission is to represent its own members in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, the British Army and the Royal Air Force.More about your independent staff association
With voting now under way, we are putting back on the front page the BAFF plan for the Scottish Independence Referendum. The plan was first published here for comment on 6 June 2012. All comments received from members were taken into account and some changes and additions made. The draft was approved by the BAFF Executive Council and thereafter endorsed by the 2013 AGM.
More stories have appeared in the UK and international media about the "fury" of Scots armed forces personnel who are unable to vote in the historic referendum.
Complaining that "Only those who still have an address in Scotland will be able to take part, affecting troops stationed in England, Cyprus and Germany", a Daily Mail story did concede that forces personnel could "in theory" register at an address where they would be living were they not in the forces, or at a previous address.
BAFF has uncovered an astonishing error in recent reporting about the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS).
Both the Daily Telegraph and the BBC have claimed that 36,000 new claims were registered in one year 2013-14, an extraordinary figure which would certainly suggest a high level of abuse, and go a long way to explain the "serious delays" in processing such claims.
But that figure is completely wrong.
While we are in no doubt that the mistake was honestly made, we have not seen any attempt to correct it, and we are appalled that it has given encouragement to an existing whispering campaign against the scheme.
The MoD has launched a new video about the upcoming changes in armed forces pensions. Armed Forces Pension Scheme 2015 (AFPS 15) will be introduced from 1 April 2015 when most regular and reserve service personnel will transfer automatically to the new scheme.
The Ministry says that if you were within 10 years of your respective scheme's normal pension age on 1 April 2012, you have transitional protection and you will remain a member of your current pension scheme.
A prominent centre-page piece in today's Daily Telegraph declares that Scottish soldiers based at Catterick in Yorkshire "have been disenfranchised" in the independence referendum.
But the article omits the fact that regular service personnel from Scotland have the option of registering there as service voters, and then of voting by post or by proxy.
Interviewed on the BBC's Good Morning Wales programme about reported delays in processing claims under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS), the BAFF Chairman criticised the excuse that such delays were "partly down to the compensation culture". While we know that many claimants have managed their own claims successfully, Young queried whether injured personnel should not be allowed to seek assistance from the Royal British Legion or others in complex cases. He commented in the interview that the excuse "made a nonsense of the Armed Forces Covenant".
BAFF in the news
06 - BAFF Chairman, Douglas Young, was interviewed on the BBC's Good Morning Wales programme about delays by Veterans UK in processing claims by serving personnel, veterans and bereaved dependants under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS). See AFCS delays allegedly "down to compensation culture"