Veterans’ department gets the thumbs down from government
Over a month ago
(MOD Defence Images - REF: 45160759)
The fight for a department specifically responsible for the care and welfare of veteran service personnel after they leave the Armed Forces, has been turned down.
Families of veterans who’ve been wounded or lost in action believe that a dedicated department is necessary, however, as Defence Minister Mark Lancaster pointed out recently, the government will continue to work in partnerships with charities, a route that he believes is the right model for UK veteran care. He went on to say “I think it’s right that government as a whole should be responsible for our veterans. I may be the only minister with veterans in their title, but I don’t want to be the only minister who is interested or committed to looking after our veterans”
It can take months for assistance to come through, such as funding for medical requirements, pension payments etc, and a dedicated department would no doubt speed processes up. Some MPs also believe that care could be improved for ex-service personnel and their families. Johnny Mercer, the Conservative MP for Plymouth, says that while he is not calling for a dedicated veterans department, he does think the care for ex-service personnel and their families must be improved, and that this effort should be led by the government.
He went on to say "What we need to do now is professionalise this industry, make sure the charities are good enough for what our people deserve, make sure somebody cares about these people, drag some through a care pathway, so that we deliver that duty we talk about all the time in the House of Commons. Until we ask these people what it's like going through that system, how it works for them, there's no point endlessly pouring money in, and announcements from government about X amount of billion pounds being made available. It means nothing unless it actually gets down to these people and changes their lives.”