Ahead of his attendance at the Sun Military Awards tonight, Prime Minister David Cameron has announced increased support for military personnel and their families. This includes nearly £1 million for Fisher House, a military charity which provides accommodation and support for the families of injured service personnel. As of next year, families will be able to live in ‘a home away from home’, next to their loved ones who are being treated in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
The Government changed the rules this year so that fines from banks and other financial services firms no longer go to the industry. In October the Chancellor announced that £35 million of fines imposed for attempted LIBOR manipulation and other unacceptable behaviour would be used to support Britain’s Armed Forces community. This is the first allocation of that money, with more announcements to follow shortly.
Announcing the funding the Prime Minister said:
On the day that we will see some of the very best and bravest of our men and women at the Sun Military awards, it is absolutely right that we continue to do everything possible to support our Forces, who are the very best of British. I am delighted to announce the first £1m for an incredibly worthwhile project, with £34m more to follow.
The Prime Minister has also given the very first Government-led military discount cards for serving personnel, their families and veterans to three serving personnel in Downing Street yesterday, LSgt Lewis Ragsdale-Lowe, Leading Writer Darryl Keaton, Squadron Leader David Melmoth and Mark Sutcliffe, formally of the Royal Anglian Regiment.
More than 200 high street and online retailers have signed up to the Defence Discount Service and the Prime Minister can announce today that:
- Iceland will now offer 10 per cent off every shopping bill
- Vodafone and Austin Reed will offer 20 per cent off
- Nearly all of the major supermarkets, H. Samuel, Boots, Game, Toys R Us, Topman, Halfords, Mothercare, Currys, Debenhams, House of Fraser, B&Q, Homebase and a host of other retailers are all offering up to 10 per cent off their gift cards, which can be used in any of their stores.
- Other big names including Alton Towers, Vue cinemas, Burton, Trespass, The AA and KFC have agreed to sign up and offer substantial discounts either online or by showing their card.
Giving out the first of the cards, the Prime Minister said:
”I am delighted that we have managed to get so many companies to sign up to this - and just in time for Christmas. As well as allowing people to save money, these discounts are a token of the immense appreciation that we all have for our Armed Forces. It is fitting that the cards are launched in the year that the military have done so much for our country, not just abroad but here in the UK, showing the very best of British during the Olympics and the Jubilee.
So today I am issuing a call to action to all companies to sign up to the Defence Discount Service. This is a very small way to say thank you to our men and women who do, and who have done, so much for us. As well as for their families who support them while they are on operations.
The Prime Minister also welcomed the first annual report on the Armed Forces Covenant being published today, which gives a progress report on everything that has been achieved, as well as further commitments to be met in the coming year.
External site: Fisher House UK
External site: Defence Discount Service