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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence
(1) what recent assessment he has made of levels of poverty amongst armed forces veterans who retired before 1975 and do not receive a full armed forces pension;
(2) what welfare provision his Department offers to people who retired from the armed forces before 1975.
The Government do not collect statistics on the number of ex-service personnel living in poverty. Veterans facing difficulties in their civilian lives have access to the free veterans helpline and the Veterans Welfare Service which provide advice and support, as well as to the UK benefits provided for those in need.
The Service Personnel Command Paper (The Nations Commitment: Cross Government Support to our Armed Forces, their families and veterans) published by the Government in July 2008 show our commitment to all veterans.
It is the first cross Government strategy to improve the level of support given to serving personnel, their families and veterans. It contains over 40 commitments aimed at ending any disadvantage imposed by the unique demands of service life and providing special treatment where appropriate.