Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey accused the Government of failing local veterans with just 1.5% in Rotherham and 2% in Barnsley having received Government ID cards to help them access the services they need.
In Rotherham just 128 veterans ID cards have been rolled out to a possible 8,212 total veterans and in Barnsley 190 have been distributed out of a possible 8,381.
The Government promised to provide every veteran in the UK with a card in 2019, designed to provide speedy access to health, housing and charity services.
But figures from the ONS confirm there are more than 1.8 million veterans in England and Wales, and just 65,700 ID cards have been given out since 2018, meaning only 3.6% veterans have been given a card in five years.
In December, Veterans’ Minister Johnny Mercer promised to rollout all remaining ID cards by this summer. However, analysis conducted by the Labour Party also showed that at the current rate of delivery, it will take more than a century to give every veteran a card.
To keep his promise, Mr Mercer needs to deliver over 1.7 million cards in the next three months, having handed out only a fraction of that so far.
John Healey MP said: “It’s clear that the Government is letting down veterans across our area and across the country. Ministers have been making sweeping promises but they fail to deliver when it’s needed.
“The aim of the veterans ID card is to help our society to keep its promise to those who serve by providing quick access to services like healthcare and housing. But only a small fraction of these cards have been provided.
“Our veterans don’t need empty promises, they need action. That’s why Labour has launched its Veterans’ Voice campaign to hear directly from former personnel and their families and put their lived experiences at the heart of our future policy offer.”
Veterans’ Voice is Labour’s nationwide listening campaign to link up with veterans and their families and shape the party’s plans for the next general election.
Anyone interested in attending an event can find out more online at labour.org.uk/veterans-voice-events/