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Armed Forces: Conditions of Employment

Volume 481: debated on Monday 27 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent steps the Government have taken to uphold the military covenant. (228113)

The Government are fully committed to meeting their responsibilities for serving personnel, veterans and their families. This includes a long-standing programme of improvements covering, for example, service pay, accommodation, health and welfare provision, force protection and personal equipment. This was reinforced in July 2008 when we published the Service Personnel Command Paper. The paper sets out our commitment to a package of over 40 measures in the fields of education and skills, childcare provision, benefits, career building, support for our Foreign and Commonwealth Service personnel and a doubling of the lump sum payments for the most serious injuries under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. It also outlines further improvements we have made recently in health, housing and support for bereaved families. This is the first cross-Government strategy for service personnel and it sets the standard for the level and scope of support that they, their families and veterans can expect.

We recognise that there is a wider national responsibility for supporting our armed forces and the independent Report of Inquiry into National Recognition of our Armed Forces published in May sets out a number of recommendations to encourage both wider public support for the armed forces and recognition of their contribution to the nation; the Government have made clear their broad support for the recommendations of this report and will publish their detailed response shortly.

Service chiefs have confirmed that the military covenant is not broken.