I hailed the excellent work of Newport Veterans Hub in Defence Questions today and highlighted the need for the UK Government to make progress on the Veterans Recognition Scheme.
Speaking virtually, I said “With support from Welsh Government and Age Cymru, the brilliant team at Newport Veterans Hub – hosted at Rodney Parade – have been delivering meals to veterans and their partners or carers throughout lockdown; with the pandemic having added to the vulnerability of many veterans in our communities. With this in mind, will the Secretary of State to take action to expedite the remaining phases of the Veterans Recognition Scheme to enable veterans to access services they need more quickly, easily and securely?”
Last February it was announced that any armed forces personnel who have left the military since December 2018 would automatically be given a new Veterans ID cards, allowing them to verify their service to the NHS, local authorities and charities, helping them to access specialised support and services when needed. The card would then be rolled out to those who left the services before December 2018 in the second phase of the recognition scheme.
However, last year the Ministry of Defence said that “due to the requirement to future-proof the scheme” and “safeguarding against fraudulent use”, the process would take longer than planned.
In response my question today, defence minister Johnny Mercer said that the government were committed to delivering the next stage of the roll out this year.
To find out more about the work of Newport Veterans Hub, visit: https://www.newportveteranshub.org.uk/