It is good that we at Care after Combat have helped the Prime Minister, Theresa May, make the great decision to form a veteran’s committee in the cabinet office.
Here was our advice from the Jan 2017 report:
“There are many outstanding members of parliament who tirelessly campaign for the veteran. Some are veterans themselves. Some are campaigning for a dedicated ministry for the veteran. We agree this could be the way forward.
“However, it is unlikely that any other departments will be created at this time, particularly given the new Brexit departments. The risk is also that you might create a ministry who don’t have many policy levers, because justice, housing, education, benefits etc. are all dealt with and decided by other departments.
“Instead, why not have a cabinet committee which works through cross department issues required to deliver on the covenant. It is apparent that there are issues that cross departments, so there needs to be more coordination between the departments to maximise delivery of the covenant. This will prevent the problem of the right-hand not knowing what the left-hand is doing.
“We believe that this is a more realistic way forward, and will produce results.”
The official wording from the Conservative Manifesto 2017 states:
Supporting our veterans
We will support former members of the armed forces, who were willing to risk their lives for us, as they move into civilian life. We will maintain and strengthen the Armed Forces Covenant. We will help veterans to start new careers by ensuring that the skills and qualifications they gained in service are recognised by civilian employers and by introducing a one year holiday on Employer National Insurance Contributions for firms hiring service personnel after they leave service. We will improve the co-ordination of government services to veterans, including housing, employment and mental health services, by introducing a Veterans Board in the Cabinet Office.