Following the publication of the Strategy for our Veterans UK Government Consultation, Chairman of Cobseo, General Sir John McColl KCB CBE DSO, said:
“The publication of the UK Government Consultation Response on the Veterans Strategy yesterday marks an important step, reinforcing the government’s commitment to the Armed Forces Community and setting out the initial measures Central Government will take to delivering the Strategy. Taken together with the further commitments announced recently in the Queen’s Speech, there is a clear desire to do better for Veterans and their families, which we welcome wholeheartedly.
“The Service Charity Sector has long provided support and services for Serving and ex-Serving Personnel and their families alongside, and in lieu of, Government and, whilst the relationship between the Service Charity Sector and Government continues to develop, it has rarely been more important. The fact that this consultation received over 2,100 responses shows that Veterans are keen to engage to improve and shape policy for their futures, and the establishment of the Office for Veterans Affairs demonstrates that Ministers are listening.
“Yet, whilst Veterans’ voices are being taken into consideration and as the Government’s initial Action Plan evolves, there is still much to be done, and other pressing areas tackled, as our recent response to the MoD’s Covenant Annual Report for 2019 highlighted. The major issues that we will be working hard to see Government address next include: the reinstatement of War Widows pensions for those who remarried after losing their partner before 2015; bridging the gap between statutory provision and immediate needs for those Veterans with mental health challenges; providing further support for those involved in legacy inquests and prosecutions from Northern Ireland; and addressing a range of issues faced by non-UK Veterans and their families.
“We now look forward to working with the Office for Veterans’ Affairs, the MoD, and other Government Departments to address these and other issues and to ensure that the Strategy provides 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.”