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Government confirms financial support for war veterans

Government confirms financial support for war veterans

The Transport Secretary has confirmed military personnel and veterans will be able to access free train travel to attend remembrance services again this year.

It was reported on Friday that the Government had revoked the offer, funded by the public purse in 2021, because the cost to the taxpayer would be “too great”.

But it is understood neither Anne-Marie Trevelyan nor her ministers signed off on this, and the Secretary of State was looking at reversing the move.

Ms Trevelyan said on Sunday that she had ensured the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents rail companies, had issued new guidance to confirm free travel for military personnel and veterans for remembrance services in 2022.

“To travel, just present your MoD ID card or evidence that you are a veteran, such as veterans railcard, to railway staff,” she tweeted.

The Guardian, which ran the initial report on the offer being scrapped, said it had seen an internal briefing for staff by the RDG, stating that the possible cost for this year was “seen as too great a loss to taxpayers”.

“Anyone enquiring if the free travel offer will be in place for 2022 should sensitively be told that it is not possible to offer free travel this year,” the memo said, according to the newspaper.

A Government spokesperson said: “New guidance has been sent by the Rail Delivery Group to operators making clear that travel will be free for military personnel and veterans to services of remembrance, following the intervention of the Transport Secretary.

“The military family is at the heart of the community and it’s only right that the armed forces can travel without charge to commemorate those lost in wars around the world.”

Content provided by Radio NewsHub. Originally published on 2022-10-09 18:55:00.

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