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Veterans Ignored By Penny Pinching Government

Rt Hon Winston Peters and Andrew Williams MP

28 January 2013

Veterans Ignored By Penny Pinching Government

New Zealand First today called for an independent inquiry into the process for disability claims for war veterans.

Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters revealed that in the past three years almost 7000 applications had been declined.

“This is a total disgrace, the Government is penny pinching and ignoring our men and women who dutifully served overseas.

“New Zealand First has always stood up for the rights of veterans. In this case, we want an independent inquiry to sort this mess out and ensure veterans receive the respect they are due.”

Veterans Affairs spokesperson Andrew Williams said veterans were being unfairly penalised because past records had been lost or misplaced.

“This is not the veterans fault and it has been acknowledged by the Defence Force that the veterans have been let down by the incompleteness of the records.

“Many of our veterans are now in their senior years, they should have the support they need now, this issue should not be allowed to fester.

“In 2008 the then Opposition leader John Key supported the Government’s formal apology to Vietnam War veterans. The government apologised for the manner in which veterans’ loyal service had not been recognised and also for the inadequate support they had received on returning home.

“The Government of today needs to recall this apology and act now on disability claims,” Mr Williams said.

ENDS

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