Calls for fairer pay-outs for Norfolk veterans

King's Lynn veteran Ian Lund, right, with Richard Howitt. Picture submitted

King's Lynn veteran Ian Lund, right, with Richard Howitt. Picture submitted - Credit: Archant

Norfolk MEP Richard Howitt wants the county council to consider changing rules that mean some wounded veterans currently have to pay for social care from their pensions.

At present, veterans injured in service on or before April 5, 2005, must pay for social care out of their war disablement pension. Veterans routinely find councils take all but £10 per week of their compensation to cover their care costs.

By contrast, under a different government scheme, service personnel wounded after that date keep all their payments.

The Royal British Legion has previously called on the Prime Minister to correct this anomaly, which penalises veterans of the second world war, the Falklands War, Northern Ireland and both Gulf Wars.

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said a report would be presented to a full meeting of the council on July 27 to allow members to make an informed decision about the proposed changes.

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However, a spokesman said it would cost about £400,000 a year to make the changes, at a time when it had to make massive cuts.

Mr Howitt, MEP for the East of England, met veterans at the legion branch in King's Lynn, and said: 'It is quite right that veterans should not be charged for the social care they need due to injuries they sustained fighting to keep each and every one of us safe.

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'I am proud to take up this fight and I sincerely hope Norfolk County Council looks at the options on the table to make sure veterans are given the proper care and support they need.'

Peter Mouncer, poppy appeal organiser for the Downham Market and district Royal British Legion, said the current rules were 'absolutely disgraceful'. 'These service personnel incurred injuries serving their country, and it's irrelevant when it happened,' he added.

are you a veteran based in west Norfolk? What do you think of the current arrangement? Email

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