We need a better deal for our armed forces 

Labour is calling for a better deal for our Armed Forces.

Our Armed Forces are driven by the hardworking men and women who serve in the Regulars and Reserves, as well as service families and the wider Forces community. 
Labour is calling for a better deal for our Armed Forces on pay, housing and veterans’ welfare. 

Pay 

Labour would lift the public pay sector cap and allow the Armed Forces Pay Review Body (AFPRB) to make recommendations on pay rises for our Armed Forces without that restriction

Labour’s defence policy is centred around our Forces, veterans and their families. After redundancies and years of pay restraint, morale amongst our dedicated Armed Forces personnel and their families has plummeted. The Tories need to invest in our personnel and show them they’re valued.  

There has been additional pressure put on the incomes of Forces families from increases in National Insurance, changes in tax credits and increases in rental charges for those in Service Family Accommodation. 

It is vital that a career in the Armed Forces continues to be attractive to our best and brightest. Crucial to this is ensuring that our Service Personnel are properly paid for the work they do and lifting the pay cap would allow that. 

We have seen historically high outflow rates and recruitment and retention problems in specific vocations, particularly pilots and engineers and Labour would re-examine retention and recruitment policies in order to combat this. 

Housing

Labour is committed to ensuring that there continues to be access to high standard, Service Family Accommodation at a reasonable cost for Service personnel. We will drive up standards in all Service Accommodation and take action where private companies have failed to deliver.

The Tories have made terrible decisions when it comes to Service accommodation and their new Future Accommodation Model has been a cause of concern for many Forces families. 

We would like to see much more consultation with Forces personnel and full and robust impact assessments of any proposed changes to Service accommodation; clear communication with Forces families must be a top priority throughout this process. Labour would consult with the individual services to give them greater autonomy over their housing choices and review the Forces Help to Buy scheme with a view to improving it.

Veterans 

Veterans are a huge part of the Forces community and Labour are proposing several measures to support service personnel in the transition back to civilian life and to legislate against discrimination against veterans.

No one should ever be discriminated against for their service in our Armed Forces and Labour would introduce an Armed Forces (Prevention of Discrimination) Bill within the first year of forming Government, legislating to outlaw discrimination against and abuse of members of the Armed Forces. 

We would increase support for our service personnel in their transition into civilian life and help address their needs by creating a Veteran’s Register. We would continue the roll out of Labour’s Veteran’s Interview Programme which works with businesses to guarantee an interview for ex- service personnel. 

Labour would launch the Homes Fit for Heroes initiative which will offer free home insulation for disabled veterans and continue to encourage businesses and community groups to sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant. 

Stephen Morgan MP said:

“I’m backing calls to give our armed forces, veterans and families a better deal on pay, housing and welfare. They stand up for us every day, so let’s stand up for them”.