Morale in the armed forces has slumped in the wake of the government’s defence cuts, according to official figures.
The Ministry of Defence’s latest attitude survey showed morale in the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and Army was down in the two years since the Strategic Defence and Security Review.
Overall, across the three services, the numbers saying morale was high has fallen from 25 per cent in 2010 to just 15 per cent - while those saying that morale was low rose by 17 points from 33 per cent to 50 per cent.
Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy said the figures were a ‘terrible reflection’ of the government’s defence policy.
He said: ‘A vital benchmark of success is our forces’ morale and yet it has been damaged and dented by David Cameron and Philip Hammond.
‘A botched review and cuts to vital support have made our forces feel undervalued and overstretched.’
Defence Minister Peter Luff acknowledged that the changes in the SDSR had created uncertainty among the forces, but expressed confidence that the mood would begin to pick up over the next two years.
He said: ‘While morale on operations remains high, we have had to make tough decisions to get the defence budget back into balance, including reducing the size of our armed forces.
‘Any change like this is bound to create uncertainty however but the resilience of our personnel should not be underestimated. We are nearing the end of a very difficult period in defence and hope to see morale slowly recovering over the next couple of years.’