Election 2016: Candidates call for implementation of Forces Covenant

Cllr Billy Hutchinson. INNT 16-803CON

Cllr Billy Hutchinson. INNT 16-803CON

PUP Assembly election candidates Billy Hutchinson and Jim McCaw have both outlined their support for implementing the Armed Forces Covenant in Northern Ireland.

Party leader, Billy Hutchinson is standing in North Belfast, while Jim McCaw is standing in the East Antrim constituency.

A party spokesperson said: “The PUP seek to protect ex-service personnel and their families though the use of existing equality law, anti-discrimination law, adoption of the Armed Forces Covenant and support for the Armed Forces (anti– discrimination) Bill 2014/15 proposed at Westminster. Many veterans living within NI are suffering from mental or physical disabilities, we owe it to them to continue this fight with the government as they are the ones who are being adversely impacted by the non-implementation of the Armed Forces Covenant. They will be further affected by welfare reform due to new assessment criteria that does not take into account the conflict related health problems in NI. The PUP recognises there is an urgent need for a dedicated facility in NI that deals with Post Traumatic Stress in the instance of war and this facility needs to be a safe and secure environment for the veterans to achieve the comfort needed to discuss their issues.

“The PUP will continue to lobby on behalf of the veterans and their families to ensure that they receive the same commitments and assistance as their fellow servicemen and women receive on the mainland.”