Plaid Cymru calls for improved veterans’ care on Armistice Day centenary
Plaid Cymru’s Liz Saville Roberts MP has said that Welsh veterans are being let down by both the Welsh and Westminster governments.
In September Plaid Cymru uncovered statistics that showed that across the UK 66,000 veterans* are either homeless, in the justice system or suffering with mental health conditions. The information obtained through a combination of parliamentary questions and research from military charities and academic research shows that former armed forces personnel are being let down by the Westminster Government, and are disproportionately represented compared to the general public, in homelessness, mental health and justice system statistics.
Ms Saville Roberts has also campaigned for residential veterans’ care to be made available in Wales. There is currently no residential treatment facilities for veterans in Wales. The only easily accessible facility, Audley Court in Shropshire announced at the end of 2017 that it would stop offering residential treatments.
The Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP has called on the Welsh Government to “put its money where its mouth is” and fund residential treatment facilities for veterans, which are shown to have profound benefits for treating mental health issues and helping veterans live fruitful lives following military service.
Liz Saville Roberts, who will be representing Plaid Cymru at the Cenotaph in London today, said:
“Today we remember the sacrifices made by so many in order for us to be here today. Their legacy will never be lost to history and their sacrifice should never be underestimated. “It is not just words that best honours their memory – we need actions too. Action so that their fellow servicemen and women are today treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. “It is shocking that in the UK today 66,000 veterans are either homeless, in the justice system or suffering with mental health conditions. We may not forget those that gave their lives, but for today’s suffering veterans it’s a case of out of sight, out of mind. “With no residential care facilities for veterans in Wales, and the last facility within reasonable distance across the border closing, the Welsh Government needs to put its money where its mouth is and invest in the services that make a difference to veterans lives. “Fundamentally, Welsh veterans are being let down by governments in Cardiff and London.”
* The information provided by Plaid Cymru suggests that some 10,000 veterans are either in prison, on parole or under the supervision of the probation service; around 50,000 are suffering with mental health conditions and a further 6,000 are homeless.