Saturday, 27 June 2009

Armed Forces Day

"Through Armed Forces Day on 27th June we hope to increase the public support for, and appreciation of, all those who serve and have served in HM Armed Forces.", said David Williams, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Crewe and Nantwich, "The theme is Honouring Britain’s Armed Forces: Past, Present and Future."

David Wiliams continued, "We are immensely proud of the contribution serving members of the armed forces and veterans have made to the security of our Nation. A security that allows all of us to live our lives in freedom, something not to be taken for granted.

"I hope that Armed Forces Day will become established in the national calendar and will continue to provide an opportunity to honour and celebrate our armed forces and veterans."

The Government has an excellent record of providing support and recognition to armed forces personnel and veterans. A wide range of support and advice is available to service personnel and veterans from government, ex-Service organisations, charities and the voluntary sector.

Delivering for the Armed Forces

Investment: Between 1997-2008 Labour has added an average £1 billion a year to the defence budget. The longest sustained investment in thirty years. Funding for defence will rise from £34 billion in 2008/09 to £36.9 billion in 2010/1. This represents an annual growth of 1.5% in real terms.

Pay: The 2007/8 Armed Forces Pay award was a good one. Basic pay for the lowest ranks will be increased by 9 .3 % and there is an increase of 3.3% across all ranks up to and including 1*. Also the Armed Forces Pay Review Board has confirmed the tax free operational allowance of £2,240 to eligible personnel completing a six month operational tour.

Health: The Healthcare Commission has praised the "exemplary" trauma and rehabilitation services for military personnel injured in service. The review praised the care provided to casualties of war, highlighting the ability to quickly reach and treat casualties, innovations in the treatment of major injuries, the training of staff, design of field hospitals, clinical audits to feed back important lessons and rehabilitation for injured personnel.

Accommodation: 90 per cent of Service Family Accommodation properties in Britain are at the top two of four standards of condition and meet the Government’s decent homes standards. Labour plans to spend in excess of £8 Billion on accommodation over the next decade, of which some £3 Billion will be on improving and upgrading accommodation

The Future: Labour will firstly end the disadvantage created by military lifestyle – where for example being ordered to move you and your family could mean losing your place on a waiting list. Secondly, we will recognise that at times it is right and necessary to give special treatment either to remove disadvantage or to recognise sacrifice, for example those seriously injured.

Our proposals have been warmly welcomed by the Royal British Legion whose Director General Chris Simpkins said: “The Covenant is being brought back into balance”

Please show your support by visiting the Armed Forces Day website.

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