Veterans Services

Cabinet Office – in the House of Commons at on 7 September 2023.

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Photo of Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne Shadow Minister (Social Care)

What steps he is taking with Cabinet colleagues to help ensure that services provided by the Government meet the needs of veterans and their families.

Photo of Johnny Mercer Johnny Mercer Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)

This Government are delivering on their commitments within the veterans’ strategy action plan to support veterans and their families. Our plan, which is backed by an additional £33 million announced by the Chancellor in this year’s Budget, contains commitments across Government, including support for health provision, housing and employment, the majority of which have been delivered or are on track.

Photo of Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne Shadow Minister (Social Care)

That is great and we all support those measures, but he will also know that the independent review of the UK Government welfare services for veterans found that the current system is “overly complex” and suffers from

“a lack of cohesion, of strategic direction and single oversight”.

It also found that veterans regularly receive “poor communication” from Government and were left “overwhelmed” by the system. Does the Minister accept responsibility for those failings and what is he doing to fix them?

Photo of Johnny Mercer Johnny Mercer Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)

I initiated that review when I first came back into office under this Prime Minister. That review has now completed. It was due to report before Christmas, but I have pulled that forward and I want to see a response from Government to the review by the end of September or the beginning of October. The review highlights changes that have been overdue for some time and I look forward to having more to say to the hon. Gentleman on that matter when the response comes back.