I recently spoke in the Second Reading of the Armed Forces Bill.
The primary purpose of the Bill is to renew the Armed Forces Act 2006 it provides the legal basis for the existence of our Armed Forces and is renewed every five years.
In this Bill the Government have claimed they are taking a historic step in enshrining the Armed Forces Covenant into law, so that service personnel and veterans won’t be disadvantaged when it comes to accessing services such as healthcare, education and housing.
But this is not what they have done, the legislation doesn’t match up to their grand claims, what it does in relation to the Covenant is asks local authorities and other public bodies to have due regard to the Covenant. In other words, decide whether to adhere to it or not. This serves to absolve the Government of any responsibility to our force’s personnel and veterans in these key areas of healthcare, education and housing.
In my speech I praised national, and local charities for being the ones who provide for our force and veterans, the Government’s poor record on welfare of veterans and how poorly service personnel and veterans are served by Government when it comes to their mental health. I also made another plea for compensation and recognition for the nuclear veterans.
You can read my full speech here.