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David Cameron has visited British troops on a pre-Christmas trip to Afghanistan. Speaking to reporters in Kandahar, the Prime Minister announced plans for a new cabinet committee to represent the interests of soldiers and veterans and outlined steps the Government is taking to ensure troops are well cared for.
He said: "We have doubled the operational allowance so that people serving out here in Afghanistan now get an extra £5,000 and using the money that way rather than having a blanket pay increase… is the right thing to do. We are also, for our armed services, not just leaving it at pay. We have exempted them from the pension increases… we are cutting their council tax."
Under the proposals the Military Covenant between the Government and the armed forces will become legally binding.
The Prime Minister said "Our Armed Forces do so much to keep us safe. That's why this government has enshrined the Military Covenant in law. This new Committee is about doing more to make the Covenant work - making sure that throughout their daily lives our troops, their families and veterans get all the help and support they need and in the coming year, I will make sure that we deliver."
Defence Minister Andrew Robathan is expected to make a statement to the House of Commons today detailing the proposals for the committee, which will be led by the Minister for Government Policy, Oliver Letwin.
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20/12/2011 on MOD
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