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Veterans: Cost of Living

Volume 748: debated on Thursday 25 April 2024

The Government have successfully reduced inflation by more than half, making the cost of living more affordable for veterans, along with every other resident of the UK. Veterans in employment within six months of leaving service is at an all-time high—89%—and our recently launched Operation Prosper employment pathway will help veterans and their families to secure well-paying jobs in key sectors.

Here are some facts. Veteran homelessness has risen by 14% over the last year. Seventeen per cent of veterans, and their families, are living in food insecure households. Over 80,000 veterans are having to claim universal credit just to get by. Despite the Minister’s claims of making the UK the best place in the world to be a veteran, it isn’t, is it?

The hon. Lady says, “Here are some facts,” before reading out a load of things that are not correct. It does not change the facts of those situations. Last Christmas, under a programme designed by this Government, not a single veteran slept rough because of a lack of provision. The shadow Veterans Minister, the hon. Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Steve McCabe), has not even turned up to ask questions this morning, so I will take no lessons from Labour on veterans.

Going into this election, veterans are deeply nervous about what Labour’s offer might be. Again, these banal quotes about statistics are not correct. This is not a game. These are serious people who deserve the nation’s respect, and I encourage the Labour party to align with that.