Boris Johnson pledges to change laws to support military veterans

11 November 2019, 06:05

Both party leaders put election campaigns aside to attend the national remembrance service
Both party leaders put election campaigns aside to attend the national remembrance service. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Ahead of the General Election, both major parties have announced their plans to support armed forces personnel and those who have served.

Labour and the Conservatives will mark Armistice Day with promises for forces personnel. The Tories will announce a raft of measures aimed at military personnel and their families, while Labour will promise to improve working conditions for those in the military.

On Remembrance Sunday the party announced a new railcard for veterans which would give those who have served a third off train fares.

In a bid to "ease pressure on families and promote recruitment and retention of women in the services," the Conservatives have announced new ‘Wraparound’ childcare for armed forces families.

Other moves relating to employment after service include guaranteed job interviews for veterans for any public sector role they apply for and a proposed tax cut for every business that employs veterans by scrapping employer National Insurance contributions for a year for every new employee who has left the armed forces.

Armed forces personnel will receive greater support
Armed forces personnel will receive greater support. Picture: PA

Ahead of a trip to the Black Country to mark Armistice Day, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “As we remember the ultimate sacrifice made by our brave men and women for their country just over a century ago, it is right that we renew our commitment to the soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and veterans of today.

“These measures will mean more childcare support for those who are currently serving. And it will mean that we harness the enormous contribution that veterans can make to our businesses and public sector organisations.

“If I’m elected on the 12th December, I want the message from my government to our armed forces to be louder and clearer than ever: we salute you and we will always support you.”

The party has also reinforced its commitment to protecting former service personnel from vexatious claims if it is elected.

The Tories have promised to introduce legislation to ensure that the Law of Armed Conflict has "primacy and that laws which are intended to govern peacetime affairs are not applied to service personnel on military operations."

While the Labour Party plan to make five major pledges to support the forces and their families.

The party will aim to "scrap the public sector pay cap," introduce new housing for the armed forces and their families.

Mr Corbyn will also aim to give a "voice for servicemen and women" by looking into creating a representative body, similar to the Police Federation

Jeremy Corbyn, said: “Real security requires decent pay, decent housing, support for our armed forces and their families, and a way to get their voice heard.

"Our forces should not have to put up with pay cuts, sub-standard housing, difficulties accessing school for their children, or face the uncertainty of relying on outsourced providers.

"After a decade of government cuts and outsourcing, Labour offers our armed forces real change with the pay, conditions and respect they deserve."