Cobseo, the Confederation of Service Charities, welcomes the announcement of an additional £10million for Veterans’ mental health and wellbeing programmes, and a commitment to introduce a National Insurance holiday for organisations employing veterans within 12 months of leaving the Armed Forces in today’s Budget (Wednesday 11 March 2020).
General Sir John McColl, Chairman of Cobseo, said:
“Today’s announcements in the Budget committing to further support for the mental health and wellbeing of ex-Serving Personnel, and to introduce a National Insurance holiday for organisations employing veterans within 12 months of leaving the Armed Forces is a clear demonstrations of the government’s desire to do better for Veterans and their employers, and is roundly welcomed. The Service Charity Sector has long provided support and services for Serving and ex-Serving Personnel and their families alongside, and some cases, in lieu of, Government, and whilst the relationship between the Service Charity Sector and Government continues to develop, such commitments from the government are key to support those most in need.
“Securing consistent funding to develop and secure the mental wellbeing of our Armed Forces has never been more important. This promise of an additional £10million for further support for programmes protecting and promoting Veterans’ positive mental health is a positive step, but for these programmes to be truly successful, they must run alongside properly resourced clinical support. Mental health is a multifaceted complex field that requires the input of many different agencies and programmes to ensure the best possible future for Veterans, and we look forward to working with the government to further implement this crucial package of support.
“Implementing the Manifesto commitment to introduce a National Insurance holiday for organisations employing veterans within 12 months of leaving the Armed Forces is something originally suggested by the Cobseo Employment Cluster and is wholeheartedly welcomed. We look forward to working alongside colleagues to ensure that everyone who will qualify through their support of Veterans into employment can access the scheme without placing any kind of additional burden on to Service Leavers.
“Whilst the announcement of both of these initiatives is wholly positive, the news comes as the Service Charity Sector awaits the full implementation of the Strategy for our Veterans and further news on the delivery of the Armed Covenant, so there is still much to do to demonstrate a clear commitment to our Armed Forces Community. We now look forward to working with the Office for Veterans’ Affairs, the MoD, and other Government Departments to ensure that both the Strategy and the Covenant provide the much-needed framework to provide successful and positive futures for Veterans and their families in honour of the contributions they have made to the nation.”