LATEST NEWS: Norfolk County Council leader urges members to back war pension care rule change

George Nobbs (leader of County Council) ENGANL00120131028141226

George Nobbs (leader of County Council) ENGANL00120131028141226

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The leader of Norfolk County Council has this afternoon urged members to back a plan to stop charging service veterans for care from their war pensions.

A proposal for the authority to meet the costs of not including war pensions in the calculation of how much former military personnel should pay for care is due to be debated next week.

Under current rules, councils can charge veterans’ war pensions for the cost of care if they were injured before April 2005.

However, they cannot charge the pensions of veterans injured after that date.

The Royal British Legion has been campaigning for a change in the rules in order to end the distinction.

And, last week, county council officers published a report proposing that the authority should meet the cost of disregarding the current regulation, which they estimated to be around £400,000 a year.

Now, council leader George Nobbs has called on members to support the proposals when they meet in Norwich on Monday.

He said: “This has been an issue which we have been considering seriously for some weeks. I asked senior officers, including Harold Bodmer, our Executive Director of Adult Social Services, to give me an assessment of what a fair and just policy in this matter would be.

“I am convinced that the right and proper thing to do would be to agree a ‘disregard’ in relation to service personnel who have suffered injury and I hope that the Full Council will accept the report which will put this into effect.

“Even in these straitened financial circumstances, I think it is important that we act fairly and do the right thing for our service personnel. It will be in the spirit of our county’s commitment to the Armed forces, as set down in the Norfolk Armed Forces Community Covenant.”

The proposal, which the council estimates will help around 100 former military personnel across the county, has already been supported by Norfolk’s Royal British Legion branch.