The Government believes that we need to take action to safeguard our national security at home and abroad. We also recognise that we need to do much more to ensure that our Armed Forces have the support they need, and that veterans and their families are treated with the dignity that they deserve.
• We will maintain Britain's nuclear deterrent, and have agreed that the renewal of Trident should be scrutinised to ensure value for money. Liberal Democrats will continue to make the case for alternatives. We will immediately play a strong role in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, and press for continued progress on multilateral disarmament.
• We will aim to reduce Ministry of Defence running costs by at least 25%.
• We will work to rebuild the Military Covenant by:
– ensuring that Service personnel's rest and recuperation leave can be maximised;
– changing the rules so that Service personnel only have to register once on the Service register;
– exploring the potential for including Service children as part of our proposals for a pupil premium;
– providing university and further education scholarships for the children of Servicemen and women who have been killed on active duty since 1990;
– providing support for ex-Service personnel to study at university,
– creating a new programme, 'Troops for Teachers', to recruit ex-Service personnel into the teaching profession;
– providing extra support for veteran mental health needs; and
– reviewing the rules governing the awarding of medals.
• We will double the operational allowance for Armed Forces personnel serving in Afghanistan, and include Armed Forces pay in our plans for a fair pay review.
• We will ensure that injured personnel are treated in dedicated military wards.
• We will look at whether there is scope to refurbish Armed Forces' accommodation from efficiencies within the Ministry of Defence.
• We will support defence jobs through exports that are used for legitimate purposes, not internal repression, and will work for a full international ban on cluster munitions.
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