Our veterans and armed forces community are an asset to society and we are committed to making Scotland the destination of choice for service leavers and their families. At present, some aspects of Veterans’ support are devolved to the Scottish government, but armed forces policy is not.
We need to do all we can to ensure that former and serving personnel can feel not only supported, but included in the decisions made to help them back into civilian life.
We have appointed a Scottish Veterans Commissioner – the first person to hold such a position in the UK.
We have established the £1.7 million Scottish Veterans’ Fund to support projects that provide a wide range of advice and practical support to veterans across Scotland.
The Scottish Government has also changed the rules to ensure the War Disablement Pension is exempt from the assessment of income.
We currently take a holistic approach to how we provide support services to the veteran community. An SNP-led Independent Scotland would look roll this out to the serving community and establish an Armed Forces union body that can play an equally key role in ensuring access and quality of provision of services.
We support the creation of this representative body to accommodate the wide range of interests, concerns, and identities within the Forces Community. This body will be able to develop expertise, and negotiate change with regards to mental health service provision, pay and conditions, housing and welfare, employability and resettlement in civilian life and legal support etc.