Tuesday 19th December 2023
The Armed Forces Covenant and Veterans annual report 2023 has been published.
It sets out the major achievements of the Armed Forces Covenant and the Strategy for our Veterans over the 12 month period from October 2022 to September 2023, and highlights remaining challenges and new commitments moving forward, across:
- Health and healthcare
- Housing and accommodation
- Armed Forces Families Strategy
- Business employment and the community
- The covenant in law
The report also includes external observations which the RAF Families Federation, Army Families Federation and Naval Families Federation contributed to.
At the time of completing our Formal Observations, it was disappointing to note that, whilst there has been mention of several major policy reviews highlighted in this year’s report, many are still awaiting a formal Government response. This includes the consultation that took place earlier this year into the scope of the Armed Forces Covenant, to consider whether the Covenant Duty should be applied to other Government Departments, such as the MoD. The Families Federations remain convinced that the MoD should be included, especially as they have certain responsibilities, such as the delivery and oversight of the provision of accommodation for serving personnel and their families and should therefore be legally held to account in the same way that social housing providers are within the Armed Forces Covenant due regard process.
It is of note that yet again this year there is much focus within the Report on the developments within the veterans arena. We fully commend the progress that has been achieved by the Office for Veterans Affairs and other Government Departments, especially within the health sector, however, there is more work to be done to improve the lives of current serving personnel and their families. The Families Federations remain committed to ensuring that the needs of the whole serving community are considered too and that their voices are heard at all levels of Government.