Written evidence submitted by SSAFA to the Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill
Lieutenant-General Sir Andrew Gregory, KBE, CB, DL, Chief Executive of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity said: “SSAFA welcomes the UK’s Government’s intention to strengthen the delivery of the Armed Forces Covenant and the personal commitment particularly of the Minister for Defence People and Veterans to make this a reality. The introduction of the Armed Forces Bill signifies an important step in this process and is likely to bring benefit, not least in making it potentially easier to hold local authorities to account for the delivery of aspects of the Covenant.
“However, we remain concerned about the remit and the enforceability of the proposed legislation. The principle of ‘special consideration’ that is currently included in these legislative proposals, whilst understandable, does not appear to have translated into a significant commitment and requires further thought. We also continue to be concerned that, while the Bill covers housing, education and healthcare, the challenges facing some veterans are much broader than this; we urge a more holistic approach. Finally, we look forward to further guidance and direction on how it is intended that the measures in the Bill will be implemented across central and local government as well as the commercial and third sectors.
“SSAFA will continue to work with all relevant and interested stakeholders to ensure the Bill brings about benefit to the veterans it seeks to represent.”
Written evidence submitted to the Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill