To mark Armed Forces Day on 30th June, Andrew Gwynne, Member of Parliament for Denton and Reddish has called on the Government to give our Armed Forces a better deal.
The object of Armed Forces Day is to raise public awareness and show national support for the contribution made to our country by those who serve in the Armed Forces. It is not only a tribute to current serving members of the armed forces but also a time to remember and pay tribute to the service men and women of the past and service families.
It was introduced by Labour in 2006 and takes place on the last Saturday of June, this year Saturday 30th June, although there will be events running throughout the week, including the Armed Forces flag flying above public buildings and landmarks. There is also a specific day celebrating the work of Reservists on the Wednesday before Armed Forces day, this year Wednesday 27th June.
Labour is using Armed Forces Day to call for a better deal for our Armed Forces. The issues that we identified last year have still not been resolved as the Tories still fail to recognise that personnel are at the heart of our nation’s defence. The Tories are failing our Armed Forces on pay, on housing and are not getting to grips with the recruitment and retention crisis. Labour’s defence policy is centred around our Forces, veterans and their families. 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. On Armed Forces Day, Labour is calling for a better deal for our Armed Forces on pay, housing and veterans’ welfare.
Labour policies for our armed forces include:
- 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 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.
- Labour would get tough with CAPITA, and take failing contracts back in-house.
- 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.
- Labour will work towards greater consistency and effectiveness of delivery of the Covenant.
For a list of events taking place across the country, or for more information, please visit: http://www.armedforcesday.org.uk/find-events/
Andrew Gwynne said:
“Armed Forces Day is a great opportunity for us all to show our appreciation of the bravery of our Armed Forces personnel, Reserves and Veterans. I’ll be at Victoria Park on Saturday celebrating with veterans.
“It’s vital that we continue to show people that the Armed Forces can be an excellent career choice for them and there are huge opportunities if they chose that path, whether as a Regular or Reserve. I’m concerned that under this Government our Armed Forces are short staffed and that the Tories haven’t acted to deal with a lot of the issues around pay and housing that Labour have been pressing them on.
“I hope that the Government will reassess this and look at what more they can do to show our personnel how valued they are”.
Nia Griffith MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Defence said:
“This Armed Forces Day I want to pay tribute to the work of our service men and women past and present and the commitment they make to keeping us safe.
“I would like to see the Government start to recognise that it’s people who are at the heart of our nations defences; it’s no good having the equipment if you’ve got no one to staff it. It’s high time that the Government give our Armed Forces a long overdue pay rise”.