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Defence Defence

Introduce a Veterans Board in the Cabinet Office

Last updated: 09:20am 4 February 2019

We will improve the co-ordination of government services to veterans, including housing, employment and mental health services, by introducing a Veterans Board in the Cabinet Office.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.42

Our verdict

The Armed Forces Covenant was published in 2011 and enshrined in law in the Armed Forces Act 2011. Since that time, it has formed the core of government policy towards veterans. It promises that:

  • veterans will face no disadvantage compared to other citizens
  • special consideration is sometimes appropriate for veterans

In that context, this policy promises to introduce a Veterans Board to “improve the co-ordination of government services to veterans”.

In October 2017, the then Defence Secretary announced the creation of a cross-government Armed Forces Covenant and Veterans Board, to be co-chaired by the Defence Secretary and the First Secretary of State, reporting to the Prime Minister.

In April 2018, at a meeting of that board, the Defence Secretary launched a Veterans Strategy to tackle “veterans’ homelessness, loneliness, debt problems, and mental health issues”.

At the same meeting, a new Veterans Unit was announced to “champion the changing needs of the ex-service community”, and designated ministers within each government department were allocated who will lead on veterans issues and the Armed Forces Covenant.

The promised Veterans Board has been introduced and has begun to better coordinate government services for veterans. This policy is ‘done’.

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