I am pleased to inform the House that with effect from 1 April 2010 there will be an increase in pensions paid through the Gurkha pension scheme of 11.3 per cent. This is in line with inflation in Nepal.
It has always been our policy to ensure that Gurkha pensioners are treated fairly. The Gurkha pension scheme currently costs some £55 million per year and will now rise to £62 million as a result of this uplift.
This increase ensures that Gurkha pensions are kept at a fair and appropriate level and demonstrates our continuing commitment to the Gurkha pension scheme. It also reinforces the UK’s long-standing links with the Government of Nepal, which we greatly value and would wish to maintain.