Poppyscotland has been campaigning alongside The Royal British Legion on the Armed Forces Bill which is currently working its way through the UK Parliament. They have been urging the Government to improve the bill so that it better supports our Armed Forces community in recognition of their service and sacrifice.

Whether through their contribution to tackling the pandemic, or the recent commemorations of D-Day and VE Day, the unparalleled contribution of those who have served in the Armed Forces continues to be shown. The Armed Forces Covenant is the government’s and the nation’s promise that those men and women – and their families – should not be disadvantaged, and that special consideration may be appropriate, such as for the injured or bereaved.

The Armed Forces Bill makes welcome provision for a new legal duty on public bodies to give due regard to the Covenant. However, the Bill does not go far enough. The new duty would only apply to councils and some limited public bodies delivering housing, health and education. This neither reflects the reality of how the Covenant is delivered, nor the full range of issues affecting those in the Armed Forces community.

Even where services are provided locally, they are often based on national guidance. It is therefore a major gap for national government and the devolved administrations to be exempted from the duty that will be imposed on councils and others. This is compounded by the omission of important topics including employment, pensions, compensation, social care, criminal justice, and immigration from the Bill’s scope.

Last week, the Bill has returned to the House of Commons and we need your help to urge MPs to seize this rare opportunity to deliver on the promise of the Covenant. You can contact your MP and ask them to #HonourtheCovenant by clicking on this link: Honour the Covenant (e-activist.com)

It only takes 30 seconds to complete and could make a vast difference.