Election 2015 Wales

Election 2015: Veterans commissioner proposed by Lib Dems

Soldier generic Image copyright MOD
Image caption The commissioner is intended to help service men and women for life

A veterans commissioner should be created to help those who have served in the military get the help they need, the Liberal Democrats have said.

The party said the commissioner could "knock heads together" and improve co-ordination of services.

Lib Dem election candidate Roger Williams said people putting "their lives on the line" should be supported.

Meanwhile, Labour is continuing efforts to get supporters of other parties to vote tactically for Labour on 7 May.

A Veterans Commissioner for Scotland was appointed last year, and the Lib Dems now want to give greater backing to the armed forces across the whole of the UK.

Mr Williams said it was "only right" to give veterans support "for life, whether they remain in the armed services or after they leave".

"The Liberal Democrats want to serve those who have served and ensure they get the right help," he added.

Plaid Cymru has called for the establishment of special "veterans' courts" and more action to help service personnel in areas such as mental health, resettlement and welfare.

The Welsh Conservatives want to see a "veterans card" giving priority treatment for service-related conditions and free access to swimming pools and Cadw sites.

A UKIP spokesman claimed the Lib Dems had "blatantly and unashamedly lifted this policy straight from us".

"We already know they can't be trusted to stick to the promises they make and now they're openly stealing policies," he added.

After urging the "anti-Tory majority in Wales" to back Labour in the general election on Friday, First Minister Carwyn Jones said there were "seats right across Wales - particularly in north and west Wales - where a slight shift from Plaid Cymru, the greens and the liberals will give us a real chance of getting a vital handful more Labour MPs into Parliament.

"An extra two or three Welsh Labour MPs, with Welsh Labour values, could mean the difference between banning zero hours contracts or not, scrapping the bedroom tax or not, ending the war on Wales, or not."

'Worst possible moment'

Plaid Cymru is focusing on attracting first-time voters.

Party leader Leanne Wood said: "The likelihood of a hung parliament means that every vote counts in this election and it's more important than ever for first-time voters to use their votes.

"A vote for Plaid Cymru is a vote for better funding for Wales, a vote to protect our public services and a vote for ambition and prosperity."

Elsewhere on the campaign trail, the Conservatives are concentrating on the economy, arguing that a change of government would come "at the worst possible moment" for the Wales.

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