Veterans Care Sector: Government Role

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:01 pm on 25th October 2016.

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Photo of Johnny Mercer Johnny Mercer Chair, Defence Sub-Committee, Chair, Defence Sub-Committee 6:01 pm, 25th October 2016

I agree with my hon. Friend, but I refer him to the evidence that I presented earlier: 85%—quite a significant proportion—of veterans do not believe that that is the case at the moment.

In looking at all this, I really struggle to put my finger on why any of it is so desperately hard for the Government to achieve. Nobody else is going to do it. The third sector cannot compel faux charities to cease. It cannot compel others to agree to a single point of contact or a common needs assessment. The issue needs leadership. It needs a small but strong Department with a Cabinet Minister whose single duty and career stands and falls on veterans care. It needs the Government to make the shift from talking a very good game on this agenda to actually delivering it. It needs a game-changing event such as Help for Heroes provided in 2007. It is in the Prime Minister’s gift to do this, and I again plead with her to listen this evening. There are always reasons not to do this, and I have heard them all, but they do not wash. Every other ally we fight alongside has tried different ways but has settled on creating a Department for veterans affairs, and we should do the same.