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Defence Defence

Support former members of the armed forces to move into civilian life

Last updated: 02:00pm 31 December 2018

We will support former members of the armed forces, who were willing to risk their lives for us, as they move into civilian life.

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 states that:

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

The broad promise to “support” veterans as they move into civilian life is essentially a pledge to uphold the Covenant and abide by its obligations. The mechanisms by which the government intends to provide support for veterans are outlined in four related policies:

One of those is ‘done’ – a Veterans Board has been established; one is ‘not started’ – there is no evidence yet of the National Insurance Contributions holiday; and the other two we have rated as ‘in progress’ – government has launched a Veterans Strategy which has “employment, education and skills” as a key theme, and efforts are ongoing to maintain and strengthen the Covenant.

The varied stages of completion of those policies mean this one can only be ‘in progress’ at best. To move it to ‘done’ we’ll need each of the related policies to reach that status first. We’ll keep monitoring, so follow this policy for updates.

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There's always room for debate

We’re serious about providing clear, up-to-date, non-partisan information. We focus on being consistent and fair in how we reach our verdicts, and always explain our reasoning. But there is always room for debate. So if you see it differently, we’d love you to tell us why. Or even better, submit an edit.