Labour pledges to improve working conditions for the armed forces.
Welsh Labour’s Health Minister has encouraged ex-service Personnel to sign up for priority NHS care with their GP, as part of the Welsh Labour Government’s unique support package for veterans of the armed forces. Welsh Labour has delivered the only Veterans NHS Service in the UK.
With an estimated 149,000 former service men and women living in Wales, the Welsh Labour Government is investing to make sure they receive the support and treatment they need.
Through Welsh Labour’s pioneering Veterans’ NHS Wales service, support is available for anyone who has served in the armed forces, at any time in their lives and who is experiencing mental health difficulties related specifically to their military service. This is the only national service of its type in the UK.
On Armistice Day, Vaughan Gething AM will be in Wrexham to meet with local veterans alongside Welsh Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Wrexham, Mary Wimbury.
The visit comes on the same day as Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn confirms that the party’s manifesto, released later this month, will include five major pledges to support the forces and their families:
• Fair Pay – scrap the public sector pay cap, which has seen a 5.8% real terms pay cut for the starting salary of an Army Private
• Decent housing for forces and their families – end the growing reliance on the private rented sector
• A voice for service men and women – consult on creating a representative body, similar to the Police Federation
• End privatisation – root and branch review of outsourcing and a clear presumption in favour of public delivery of public contracts
• Support for forces children – better access to schools with dedicated local authorities admissions strategy for the particular challenge of frequent school moves
The Welsh Labour Government is already providing support through the National Housing Pathway For Ex-service Personnel to support ex-forces members at risk of homelessness and committed £250,000 to the Supporting Service Children in Education Wales Fund, which helps schools provide additional support to children from families of Service personnel.
Speaking from Wrexham, Welsh Labour’s Health Minister, Vaughan Gething AM said:
“Today the country marks Armistice Day and we remember the sacrifice of our armed forces personnel, past and present.
When asked to serve, the men and women of our armed forces do so with unfailing courage and dedication, never hesitating to put the needs of the country first.
Our Welsh Labour Government is committed to the Armed Forces Covenant that recognises that the whole nation has a moral obligation to members of the armed forces and their families, and it sets out how they should expect to be treated.
Ensuring that the men and women who serve in our hour of need receive the support they and their families need in their hour of need is part of our commitment to them.
That’s why I’m proud that, under Welsh Labour, Wales is home to the UK’s first and only dedicated veterans NHS service.
If you’ve served in the armed forces, including Regulars, Reservists and National Service, make sure your GP knows as you may be eligible for priority treatment.”
Mary Wimbury, Welsh Labour’s candidate for Wrexham, added:
“I’m proud that Welsh Labour is delivering real change for veterans here in Wrexham and across Wales. Both my Grandad and my Dad served in the army, so this is close my heart.
Men and women from Wrexham who have served their country can rely on the sincere gratitude and support of their Welsh Labour Government and Welsh Labour MPs.”