The Conservative Party today renews its commitment to the Armed Forces with a bold package of measures to support military personnel, veterans and their families, in recognition of the role they play in keeping the nation safe.
The package, which would be delivered under a majority Conservative government, includes:
- ‘Wraparound’ childcare for armed forces families including breakfast clubs and after school clubs to cover early starts and late finishes for working parents of children aged 4-11. The new scheme will help ease pressure on families and promote recruitment and retention of women in the services.
- A guaranteed job interview for veterans for any public sector role they apply for in a move to overcome obstacles to employment and change the perception of veterans in the workforce.
- A proposed tax cut for every business that employs veterans by scrapping employer National Insurance contributions for a year for every new employee who has left the armed forces.
- A new rail card for veterans, which would grant holders a third off train fares, in recognition of their service to the country.
Ahead of a trip to the Black Country to mark Armistice Day, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“As we remember the ultimate sacrifice made by our brave men and women for their country just over a century ago, it is right that we renew our commitment to the soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and veterans of today.
“These measures will mean more childcare support for those who are currently serving. And it will mean that we harness the enormous contribution that veterans can make to our businesses and public sector organisations.
“If I’m elected on the 12th December, I want the message from my government to our armed forces to be louder and clearer than ever: we salute you and we will always support you.”
Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace added:
“In the days of advanced technology and automation it is easy to forget that the most important equipment in the armed forces are the men and women serving. This policy demonstrates our commitment to them and is a recognition of the pressures they face.”
The party has also underlined its commitment to protect former soldiers from vexatious claims if it is returned with a majority. It has pledged to introduce legislation to ensure that the Law of Armed Conflict has primacy and that laws which are intended to govern peacetime affairs are not applied to service personnel on military operations.