Airdrie & Shotts MP questions UK Government over treatment of veterans

Airdrie and Shotts MP Anum Qaisar questioned the UK Government and the Ministry of Defense about its treatment of veterans.

During a debate on War Pensions and the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, Ms Qaisar commended veterans from across her constituency for their “immense sacrifice”.

She stressed that despite a specific constituent’s case being raised several times in the House of Commons by her predecessors, the UK Government has simply not done enough to prioritize the mental health and occupational wellbeing of veterans.

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During her speech in the Commons, Ms Qaisar said: “Over a significant period of time, my constituent has been writing to her elected MP—me and my predecessors—for Airdrie and Shotts. She spoke to me recently about her son de ella.

“She told me that her son joined the trade and supply branch of the forces in May 1988 and remained in service for a number of years. He was in consultation with doctors about his back pains from him.

“However, doctors repeatedly dismissed his pains and appeared unsympathetic. Despite protesting that he was unwell, he was placed back on to normal duties.

“He was deployed again and took part in a number of exercises with full kit, despite those back pains. When he arrived back in the UK and spoke to doctors, they again dismissed his claims that the training had exacerbated his pain and said that a previous car accident was to blame.

“At that time, my constituent’s son was unable to sleep without prescribed medical treatment.

“This specific case goes further and I am short of time, but the story of my constituent and her son really does get to the heart of how we treat our veterans in terms of their wellbeing, be it their mental health or their occupational wellbeing, such as receiving pensions.

“My constituent’s son sadly died in 2011, despite his specific case being raised a number of times on these very Benches by four different MPs for Airdrie and Shotts.

“What is still abundantly clear is that despite veterans sacrificing so much for this country, the UK Government are simply not ensuring that mental health and occupational wellbeing, such as pensions for veterans, are a priority.”

The debate was called by Owen Thompson, SNP MP for Midlothian to scrutinize the Government’s pension and compensation schemes for veterans.

Under the current system veterans can be left waiting months for a decision on pension and compensation claims.

Decisions are often made without proper scrutiny leaving veterans unable to claim the compensation they deserve.

The Scottish Government has established at a £1.7m Scottish Veterans Fund to help support projects that provide a wide range of advice and practical support to veterans.

Scotland was also the first country across the four nations to appoint a dedicated Scottish Veteran’s commissioner.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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