Gulf War Illnesses

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at on 11 October 2007.

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Photo of Lord Drayson Lord Drayson Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform, Minister of State (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) (Business and Regulatory Reform), Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Equipment and Support) (also Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform)

My Lords, I understand the noble and gallant Lord's point. However, we think that it is right to continue to invest in research where we are advised by the Medical Research Council that such research makes sense and is likely to lead to further understanding. However, the emphasis of that research is on the rehabilitation of veterans as opposed to research into possible causal links. We do not believe that it is right to pay compensation and make ex gratia payments. Gulf veterans already receive compensation under the war pensions scheme with respect to their disabilities. To provide an additional payment would in effect be to pay them twice. We do not think that that is appropriate.