Veterans Affairs

Veterans shortchanged in Govt U-turn

National’s U-turn in adopting Labour’s proposed amendment to the Veterans’ Support Bill to allow all veterans deployed overseas in a conflict zone to receive a veteran’s pension sadly leaves them shortchanged, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff.

“This U-turn is not the good news it seems on the surface. The decision to gut the Law Commission’s recommendation that Labour wants to implement removes most of the financial benefits from getting a veteran’s pension and shortchanges our aging servicemen and women.

Time to do the right thing for our veterans

A Labour government will adopt the Law Commission’s recommendation to ensure all war veterans are eligible for a Veteran’s Pension, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.

“Veterans are only eligible for the pension if they are considered ‘significantly’ disabled, or more specifically, have a 52 per cent or higher impairment.

“They have asked for this requirement to be dropped and a review by the Law Commission – set up by the former Labour Government – agreed.

“However, National has cynically refused, saying the change should ‘not progress at this point in time’.

Veterans short-changed

The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff.

“A review of the 1954 War Pensions Act by the Law Commission, set up by the Labour Government in 2008, recommended that all war veterans put in harm’s way in an overseas deployment should be eligible for a veteran’s pension.

Tomorrow never comes for veterans

Minister Michael Woodhouse is quick off the mark when it comes to leading overseas trips but tortoise-like when it comes to making meaningful changes to war pensions that veterans are still waiting for, Labour’s Veteran Affairs spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says.

"Last year, then Veteran Affairs Minister Nathan Guy, announced that legislation implementing a number of the recommendations contained in a Law Commission review of the War Pensions Act was imminent and could be expected in early 2013.

Time for progress on vets’ allowances

Another ANZAC Day is set to pass as the Government continues to procrastinate over recommended changes to the way veterans are recompensed for service to their country, Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says.

“The Government has had more than enough time to consider much needed changes to the War Pensions Act 1954, as recommended by the Law Commission nearly two years ago.

Veterans' - Hurry up and wait

Hurry up and wait is the message that the Minister of Veterans’ Affairs has given to the veteran community, Labour Veteran Affairs spokesperson Rick Barker says.

“The RNZRSA and its affiliates, put every effort into their submissions to the Law Commission for its report “A New Support Scheme for Veterans: A Report on the Review of the War Pensions Act 1954” to replace the 1954 War Pensions Act. The Law Commission reported to the Government in June 2010.

National can't justify delay in veterans

The announcement confirming an increase in War Disablement Pension Gallantry Allowance payments for Veterans is welcome, but the veteran community is still awaiting the Government’s long-overdue announcement on overhauling and updating the War Pensions Act 1954, says Labour’s Veteran Affairs spokesperson Rick Barker.

Rick Barker said the Law Commission reported to the government on 1 June 2010 making a number of recommendations to modernise the veterans support scheme legislation.

New support scheme for veterans welcomed

Labour Veterans’ Affairs spokesperson Rick Barker is welcoming a Law Commission report on a new support scheme for veterans.

Rick Barker said he agreed with the Commission that ‘very little has changed since the War Pensions Act 1954 and that this legislative inertia has left the New Zealand system in need of modernisation’.

“The Commission is putting forward a sensible and effective proposal to have two schemes --- legislation for pre-1974 veterans and separate legislation for veterans who served after 1974,” Rick Barker said.

National rates War Memorial as a low priority

Labour’s Veterans Affairs spokesperson Rick Barker says it is disgraceful that the Government can commit $50 million to Prime Minister John Key’s pet cycleway, but can’t guarantee the New Zealand War Memorial Park project will proceed.

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