Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:35 am on 26th January 2023.

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Photo of Penny Mordaunt Penny Mordaunt Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 10:35 am, 26th January 2023

I thank the hon. Gentleman for raising that important point. One of the factors that motivated the Government to bring in the armed forces covenant and the principles that sit alongside it, was that people should not be disadvantaged by the service that they have done for the nation. The notion that local authorities would send veterans who needed help getting, for example, white goods to SSAFA or the Royal British Legion, because they would take care of them, was absolutely outrageous and appalling. That is one of the reasons we brought in the covenant. We want the covenant and the principles that guide it to be very effective. In the slightly longer term, the hon. Gentleman will know that both the all-party parliamentary group on veterans and the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs are doing some survey work—in particular, the APPG is looking at that financial aspect. But I will flag that issue with the Department. We are giving a huge amount in cost of living support and we want to make sure it is getting to the right people, which is why, whatever scheme we set up, we are always supplying local authorities with some flexibility, so they have the power to act where these big schemes do not reach everyone.