With the General Election just around the corner, SaluteMyJob takes a look at the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Scottish Nationalist Party and Plaid Cymru manifestos and how each party plans to support veterans.
We will support former members of the armed forces, who were willing to risk their lives for us, as they move into civilian life. We will maintain and strengthen the Armed Forces Covenant. We will help veterans to start new careers by ensuring that the skills and qualifications they gained in service are recognised by civilian employers and by introducing a one year holiday on Employer National Insurance Contributions for firms hiring service personnel after they leave service. We will improve the co-ordination of government services to veterans, including housing, employment and mental health services, by introducing a Veterans Board in the Cabinet Office.
We are fully committed to supporting our veterans. We will promote greater awareness of the Armed Forces Covenant, seek greater consistency in its implementation by public authorities, and promote increased participation in the Corporate Covenant. We will:
- Set targets to increase apprenticeships for veterans.
- We will also roll out a Homes Fit for Heroes programme that will insulate the homes of disabled veterans for free.
Liberal Democrats recognise the vital role the UK’s armed forces play in the defence of the nation and believe that it is the role of government to safeguard the interests of service personnel and veterans. We will:
- Support the Armed Forces Covenant and ongoing work to support veterans’ mental health.
- Review the current Career Transition Partnership with a view to extending its remit to provide free further or higher education for anyone who has served in the armed forces for 12 years or more.
- Improve the quality of service housing by bringing the Ministry of Defence into line with other landlords, giving tenants the same legal rights to repair and maintenance as private tenants.
Far too often, the UK government has let down our service personnel and veterans. The SNP will act to ensure the UK government prioritises the duty of care to service personnel, veterans and their families, especially in the event of a loss of a serving relative, and we will press the UK government to put the Armed Forces representative body on a statutory footing.
To provide practical support for veterans requiring social care, the Scottish Government changed the rules to ensure the War Disablement Pension is exempt from the assessment of income – meaning our veterans get the help they need and keep the full value of this pension. We believe this approach should be taken to all social security benefits, so that those who have been injured in the service of our country get the full value of their War Disablement Pension and we will press the UK government to adopt this approach.
Although the Welsh Government is not responsible for defence forces, we will take responsibility for our Welsh based veterans. We will introduce measures to assist veterans and will provide support to health bodies and to local authorities to fulfil the Military Covenant, with particular reference to mental health and substance abuse, physical health, housing issues and welfare support.