Tories pledge cheaper railcards for veterans and tax breaks for their employers

Rishi Sunak speaks with a D-Day veteran
Rishi Sunak speaks with a D-Day veteran

Veterans will receive cut-price rail travel and employers will be given tax breaks to give jobs to former members of the Armed Forces under plans unveiled by Rishi Sunak.

The Prime Minister has pledged to bring in a new Veterans’ Bill as a tribute to the “heroes who have put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms”.

It will enshrine veterans’ rights, such as ensuring military qualifications have an equal standing with civilians’ qualifications in law for the first time.

Mr Sunak said the new law would make Britain the best place in the world to be a veteran.

“The heroes who have put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms represent the very best of our country,” he said.

“That’s why we have prioritised making the UK the best place in the world to be a veteran with our clear plan to give them the opportunities, aftercare and support they deserve to live prosperous, fulfilled lives.

“The choice at the election is clear – vote for the Conservatives for a dedicated veterans’ minister, veterans’ rights enshrined in law and more opportunities for veterans, or Labour who have no plan and would take us back to square one.”

The Prime Minister said his commitments will do all it can to ensure veterans get good jobs, by extending the National Insurance holiday for veterans’ employers, incentivising them to hire more.

The price of a Veterans Railcard will be cut by almost a third from £30 per year to £21, bringing it in line with the price serving personnel pay for the HM Forces Railcard.

Johnny Mercer, the Veterans Minister, said: “D-Day is a moment for us to reflect on the historic bravery of those men who fought for us 80 years ago. Their spirit lives on in the millions of veterans who continue their legacy today.

“I am hugely proud of the progress we’ve made in ensuring the UK is the best place in the world to be a veteran and I am dedicated to making sure we go even further with this clear plan to support vets.

“And we will go further by passing a law to enshrine veterans’ rights in law so that all veterans can have the peace of mind that their dedication will be recognised and rewarded throughout their lifetimes.”