Labour is calling on train operating companies to look into extending concessionary travel for the Armed Forces to UK veterans. The Government has fallen short and now Labour believes concessionary travel should be provided to all who have served their country. Currently the HM Forces Railcard saves service personnel a third on rail fares. Labour is proposing this is extended to the 332,826 veterans who are on the Armed Forces Pension Scheme. This would have no cost to the public purse as the HM Forces Railcard is a concession granted by the Association of Train Operating Companies Train Operating Companies. In 2011-12 train operating company income was £305m more than their expenditure. Labour believes it is right that a small proportion of these profits are used to support those who serve in the name of national security.” Read more
The Army will lose 17 major units as it cuts 20,000 regular soldiers by 2020, the defence secretary has said.
|Philip Hammond told MPs that the units to go included four infantry battalions and two sections in the Armoured Corps.
He said the Army would be a "forward-looking, modern fighting machine", but Labour said the cuts were short-sighted and could put the UK at risk.
The number of regular soldiers is set to fall from 102,000 to 82,000, while reservists will double to 30,000.
The Army will be about half the size it was during the Cold War era - it had more than 163,000 troops in 1978.
In the infantry, Mr Hammond said, no current regiments or cap badges would be lost.
He said: "After inheriting a massive overspend from the last government, we have had to make tough decisions to implement our vision of a formidable, adaptable and flexible armed forces.
The Conservative Party in Wales propose to extend the free bus pass scheme to all armed forces – both serving and former – and all carers.