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Office for Veterans’ Affairs

Volume 691: debated on Thursday 25 March 2021

I am incredibly proud of the work of the Office for Veterans’ Affairs, which has fundamentally shifted the dial when it comes to looking after our veterans in this country. Whether it is the guaranteed interview scheme, the £10 million mental health care pathway that we established last week, veterans’ railcards or national insurance contribution holidays, we are making slow and irreversible progress in this domain, and we will continue to do so under this Government.

I am enormously grateful to the Minister for his work with the Secretary of State for Wales to create a veterans’ commissioner for Wales. With so many veterans in and around Brecon, this would recognise the circumstances faced by Welsh veterans where services such as healthcare and education are controlled at a devolved level. Will the Minister confirm that work to create the post is under way at pace and that the postholder will work across both Welsh and UK Governments to ensure that all hurdles for Welsh veterans can be overcome?

I pay huge tribute to my hon. Friend for campaigning so energetically on this issue. Veterans’ commissioners are incredibly important across the country. There is no doubt that in some areas there is excellent veterans’ care, and in other places not so much. What this Government are absolutely committed to is levelling up that experience as a veteran across the UK. We have a veterans’ commissioner in Scotland, and in Northern Ireland for the first time. I am delighted that the Welsh Government are working with us on this. We will deliver it so that the whole United Kingdom becomes the best place in the world in which to be an armed forces veteran.