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Military Personnel: LIBOR Funding

Volume 577: debated on Monday 17 March 2014

7. What progress he has made on using funding from LIBOR fines to benefit former and serving military personnel. (903050)

9. What progress he has made on using funding from LIBOR fines to benefit former and serving military personnel. (903053)

The short answer is that a great deal of progress has been made. As Members will know, in December 2012 the Chancellor transferred £35 million from fines levied on the banks following the LIBOR scandal. The whole of that £35 million has now been allocated to almost 100 projects that will provide support to members of the armed forces community. In addition, we can now look forward to the £40 million recently announced for the veterans accommodation fund, the £20 million about which I have already given details and, in perpetuity, £10 million each year for our service charities.

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for her answer. Will some of the money from the LIBOR fines be used to deal with the awful mental illness that comes to those who have lost loved ones in conflict, and to help the families of those who have suffered mental health problems after spending time overseas in conflict areas?

I am happy to confirm that Cruse Bereavement Care, a wonderful charity that comforts bereaved people—not only service families but anyone who has lost someone—has received £500,000 of LIBOR funding. An additional £2.77 million has gone to Combat Stress, and SSAFA has a number of projects that have benefited, to the tune of £2 million. I hope that shows that we take this work very seriously.

Finding the right accommodation for veterans who have been wounded or injured is an important part of upholding the duty we owe them for their sacrifice. What assistance is the Ministry of Defence providing to ensure that veterans with a housing need are properly supported?

As I have explained, £40 million of LIBOR funding has been set aside specifically for what we are calling the veterans accommodation fund. It will make a big difference, and is available to fund the building of purpose-built accommodation and the purchase or refurbishment of existing housing. The bid criteria have been published and the fund is open for applications now.