National promises more for war vets

War veterans will be given greater recognition and assistance under a National-led Government, the party said yesterday.

Veterans’ Affairs spokeswoman Judith Collins said more had to be done to honour their contribution to peace, freedom and democracy.

Ms Collins released National’s veterans policy, saying it would:

Extend eligibility for the Veterans’ Gold Card to all veterans with qualifying operational service, and look to enhance the benefits.

Establish a New Zealand Defence Medal recognising service in both the regular and non-regular services.

Support the review of the War Pensions Act to revamp and simplify the pension system.

Provide ongoing financial support to the three dedicated veterans’ homes.

Increase the allowance for gallantry decoration holders to $30 a week, including the New Zealand awards since 1999, and remove the requirement for recipients to be receiving a war disablement pension.

“National will focus on the healthcare needs of veterans and their families,” Ms Collins said.

“We initiated the health select committee inquiry into the use and effects of Agent Orange in 2003 in a bid to resolve long-standing health issues for Vietnam veterans,” she said, adding that National would adopt the recommendation to give veterans free annual medicals.

Published: 2008, Oct, 08. | Time-stamp: 4:00 AM Wednesday | By: NZPA | Article Link: nzherald.co.nz | Article Title: National promises more for war vets.

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