A question for provision of Veterans: Disability Aids

A few days ago in Parliament the Crawley based MP, Henry Smith wrote out a question that was responded by John Glen who is the Chief Secretary of Treasury. The subject was the Veterans: Disability Aids and it would be helpful to know if this response is sufficient or if MPs like Henry Smith should call for more provisions. As it happens tomorrow the MP for Aberconwy, Robin Millar is due to have the second reading of his private Bill which is entitled “Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committees Bill”. He first read it on 20th June 2022 and the text refers to “Robin Millar presented a Bill to make provision about veterans advisory and pensions committees; and for connected purposes.” Although there have not been any recent Early Day Motions focused on Veteran issues, there have certainly been a number of comments and questions in Parliament so far this year. Here is the question and answer from Henry Smith and John Glen. We need to find out how significant this is.

Henry Smith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has had recent discussions with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the potential merits of providing a long-term funding stream for specialist (a) mobility and (b) orthotic equipment for veterans that was previously provided under the Veterans Mobility Fund.

John Glen: The Government is committed to supporting all our veterans, and to ensuring that they continue to thrive after leaving the services.

Since 2014, the Government has committed £773m of LIBOR fines to support Armed Forces and Emergency Service charities.

As part of this package, the Chancellor awarded the Royal British Legion £3m to develop a Veterans Mobility Fund, designed to meet the wellbeing needs of veterans discharged with service-attributable serious physical injury. At the same time, the Chancellor also awarded £10m to develop a Veterans Hearing Fund, providing support to veterans who suffered hearing loss during service.

In 2019, at the Royal British Legion’s request, the Treasury authorised the transfer of almost £1.5m from the Veterans Mobility Fund to the Veterans Hearing Fund, following dramatic increases in the rate of applications for the Hearing Fund and a comparatively static application rate for the Mobility Fund. Both the Veterans Hearing and Veterans Mobility Funds have now closed.

Since 2020, we have announced a further £10m funding to support veterans’ mental health, £475k to support the development of a digital and data strategy for the sector, £5m to enable charities to address the impact of events in Afghanistan on veterans, a £5m Veterans’ Health Innovation Fund, and £8.55m in December last year to end veteran homelessness in 2023.

More than 100 service charities, including those who support veterans, also benefitted from £6m of the £750m to support the charity sector announced by the Chancellor in April 21 in support of COVID-19.

The Governments Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan sets out the steps we will take in the next two years towards our ambition of making the UK the best place in the world to be a veteran by 2028.

The Chancellor engages with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care routinely on health matters.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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