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Just 7.3% of Portsmouth’s veterans have received promised ID card as Labour launches listening campaign

By 4 April 2023No Comments

Just 7.3% of veterans in the region have received Government ID cards to help them access the services they need, as Labour MP Stephen Morgan launches a Veterans’ Voice campaign to understand local concerns.

In Portsmouth, just 685 veterans ID cards have been rolled out to 9,278 total veterans.

The Government promised to provide every veteran in the UK with a card in 2019, designed to provide speedy access to health, housing and charity services.

But figures from the ONS confirm there are more than 1.8 million veterans in England and Wales, and just 56,000 ID cards have been given out since 2018, meaning just 3% veterans have been given a card in five years.

In December, Veterans’ Minister Johnny Mercer has promised to rollout all remaining ID cards by this summer. However, analysis conducted by the Labour Party also showed that at the current rate of delivery, it will take more than a century to give every veteran a card.

To keep his promise, Mr Mercer needs to deliver 1.7 million in cards in the next three months, having handed out only a fraction of that so far.

Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, said:

“It is crystal clear that this Government is letting down veterans in Portsmouth.

“Ministers make sweeping promises about support they will deliver but it’s all talk.

“Labour’s Veterans’ Voice campaign will listen to veterans in our area carefully. We will step up where this Government has failed.”

Shadow Veterans Minister Rachel Hopkins MP, added:

“The Conservatives like to talk up their support for our forces, but it’s clear that they are failing our veterans.

“The veterans ID card is supposed to help our society keep its promise to those who serve by ensuring quick access to services like healthcare. But Conservative ministers have delivered just a fraction of the cards needed.

“Our veterans don’t need empty promises, they need action. That’s why Labour has launched its Veterans’ Voice campaign to hear directly from former personnel and their families, and put their lived experiences at the heart of our future policy offer.”

Mr Morgan recently encouraged all veterans and their families to complete the first ever Veterans Survey delivered by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). For more information, visit here.