George Osborne and Liam Fox yesterday announced that a Conservative government will provide university and further education scholarships for the children of servicemen and women killed while on active duty.
These scholarships will pay for the full tuition fees and other costs as they study at vocational college or university.
Commenting on the policy announcement, Mark Reckless said:
“From the Rochester and Strood perspective I am particularly delighted that the children of Royal Engineers who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan so recently may benefit from this initiative.”
This policy will apply from day one of a Conservative government – and it will also apply retrospectively to the children of all military personnel killed since 1990. This will provide reassurance and financial help for the families of servicemen and women killed while serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Bosnia, Northern Ireland and elsewhere.
The scholarships, which will cost a maximum of £1.5 million per year, will be fully funded from the £455 million annual Widening Participation budget. They complement existing Conservative measures to support the military and their families, including doubling the operational allowance to £4,800 for a six-month tour, and piloting a Mental Health Service for veterans who have been deployed on operations.
Shadow Chancellor George Osborne, said “I’ve just visited our brave men and women serving in Afghanistan, and witnessed their commitment and determination at first hand. That’s why I’m so determined to provide more help for the families of military personnel who have lost their lives serving our country.”
Shadow Defence Secretary Liam Fox added that this was “a clear sign” of “our commitment to the Military Covenant”.
“Our duty of care extends not only to those serving in our Armed Forces but to their dependants. For those fighting for our security, they have a right to know that if the worst happens their families will be properly cared for.”