Topical Questions

Part of Isil – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 20th October 2014.

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Photo of Anna Soubry Anna Soubry The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence 2:30 pm, 20th October 2014

I am pleased to say that all local authorities have now signed up to the covenant. We must now make sure that everybody delivers on it. If I may say so, it is beholden on councillors and, indeed, MPs to make sure that we now see real delivery at local level and put the covenant into practice so that none of our service personnel and their families, or indeed our veterans, suffers any disadvantage because of their service.


Andy Robertson-Fox
Posted on 21 Oct 2014 4:28 pm (Report this annotation)

May I draw the Minister's attention to the final part of her last sentence "so that none of our service personnel and their families or indeed our veterans suffers any disadvantage because of their service".
May I now ask her to liaise with the Minister for Pensions, Steve Webb, and remind him that there are Second World War veterans and other service personnnel who have subsequently served this country in overseas theatres of operations who are being denied index linking on their State Retirement Pension.
The denial is simply because they, like many other UK citizens, have retired abroad to a so called frozen country. Webb has admitted that the policy is discriminatory, irrational and illogical and yet, rather than abolishing the ruling, exacerbates the problem by incorporating it as Clause 20 in the Pensions Act 2014.

George Morley
Posted on 21 Oct 2014 7:06 pm (Report this annotation)

The DWP and government are surely not outside of the scope of this covenant and has been already pointed out most of the frozen pensioners will have served their country due to the National Service which was in force until 1964, while others will have done varying periods up to 18 years but will not have qualified for a service pension for which a period of 22 years is required.
These pensioners will possibly have served abroad in the country that they now live in which would be a reason for their being there although any reason is immaterial.
With Remembrance Day approaching, how can any government in all honesty continue with this draconian, penny pinching policy especially when the frozen pensioners see the National Insurance Fund in surplus and they make up just 4% of all pensioners with the other 96% being treated fairly.
Even the service pension is uprated annually in a frozen country as I receive it in Canada.
This reflects on every Member of Parliament and is purely up to you and every other member to right this wrong and have respect for my fellow servicemen and women. They did their duty, now you should do yours.