Examination of Witnesses (Questions 60
WEDNESDAY 6 MARCH 2002
60. The Legion magazine.
(Major House) Each time there is a change in either
legislation or onus of proof or whatever it may be with pensions,
I am tasked, it is part of my remit, along with Colonel English,
to make sure that that is published within the Legion publication.
A recent one, which is a bit divorced from here, is the business
of tax in the 1950s to 1970s. That had been republished. We did
it three years ago and in the Legion magazine this month, so that
is within my remit to do that. I do believe that we cover as much
as we can and last year I did a little history of war pensions
and indeed what help we do offer people who are claiming war pensions.
61. Consistently both in the note from you and
today, in addition to talking about the financial benefit you
have talked about the value that veterans place on the welfare
provision currently available to those designated as war pensioners
or war widows from the War Pensions Agency and we know that is
transferred. What services does the War Pensioners' Welfare Service
currently offer to veterans and have you had any indication in
the representations you have made to the MoD that there will be
any similar provision under the new arrangements?
(Colonel English) We are led to believe that the War
Pensioners' Welfare Service will continue. It includes home visits
and regular updating by the welfare officers who, if they see
a deterioration in the case, can start the process to look for
the pension being enhanced. We regard their contribution as very
(Major House) We have an army of volunteers, not just
the Royal British Legion, but other ex-Service charities as well,
but what we cannot compete with is the expertise of the Welfare
Service because there is a lot of crossover information that we
are not privy to. I am, supposedly, an expert in war pensions,
but I am not in other benefits. Now, somebody visiting a war pensioner
at home can see that other benefits might be available to the
person who is claiming a war pension and it is a point of contact.
We have very much interchange with that part of the organisation
and I believe, having, as I said before, worked in pensions for
so many years, that is the icing on the cake. The Welfare Service
has to stay.
62. Its continuance is not in conflict with
any of the other proposals that the MoD is putting forward?
(Colonel English) No, it should not be.
Chairman: Well, thank you very much.
If is there is anything you wish to add, please put it in your
supplementary memo. Thank you very much.