Honour the Covenant says Rochdale MP

January 17, 2008 12:00 AM

Rochdale MP Paul Rowen has joined nearly 200 MPs in backing the Royal British Legion's campaign to 'Honour the Covenant'. The 'Military Covenant' is a mutual promise acknowledged by all services. It says that in return for service personnel agreeing to place themselves in harm's way for their country, the Government promises to help and support people in the Armed Forces and their families when this support is needed.

Campaigners are calling for a just and more generous compensation scheme for those who have been injured or have an illness caused by their service, and one that compensates appropriately the families of those who have been killed in the line of duty.

The campaign also calls for a greater commitment to supporting the physical and mental health of Service people and their families. The Legion is concerned that Service personnel and ex-Service personnel and their dependents do not always get the standard of health care they are entitled to, and is calling on the Government to improve the level of health-care available.

Finally the Legion is asking for more support for bereaved service families, and is concerned in particular by the distress caused by delays and lack of legal representation during coroners' inquests.

In support of both campaigns, Mr Rowen said: "We ask our armed forces to put their lives at risk. The fact that we cannot guarantee that these brave service personnel get the equipment, medical care and support for them and their families that they deserve is a national disgrace.

"Here in Rochdale, I have been contacted by a number of members of the British Legion and veterans for support and I am pleased to back the excellent work of the British Legion and work to ensure that those who give so much get full support.

"Our service personnel are not asking for anything that they are not entitled to, they are fighting for the security of our country. The least we can do is ensure that the support they receive is satisfactory, if not exceptional.

"The Government should be ashamed that with all they ask of their forces they have fallen short of what their armed forces expect of them."