Banff and Buchan MP backs census counting for Scotland's Armed Forces veterans

David Duguid MP says a reasonably short addition to the 2021 Census will give this government a clearer idea of who and where our veterans are
David Duguid MP says a reasonably short addition to the 2021 Census will give this government a clearer idea of who and where our veterans are

A North East MP has backed the inclusion of Armed Forces veterans in National Census to give a clearer picture of their needs.

Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid asked the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence what steps his department is taking to support service personnel in making the transition to civilian life.

Scottish Conservative Mr Duguid said the addition of a new census question would support a “clearer understanding” of what happens to former military personnel when they leave the services.

Information about the armed forces community has not previously been collected in the census, except in relation to the occupation of those currently serving.

Following feedback from the 2021 Census topic consultation, the Office for National Statistics committed to investigating the feasibility of linking administrative sources on those who have left the armed forces to data from the 2011 Census.

Tobias Ellwood told Mr Duguid during defence questions: “I’m pleased to say we are moving forward on this census question to make sure we have a better understanding as to who is a veteran in this country. I think it would be very helpful in getting a better estimation.”

Mr Duguid said: “In the great majority of cases, former services personnel are given as much support as they need to reintegrate into society. But we know there are times when someone may feel invisible, and struggle to be seen.

“A reasonably short addition to the 2021 Census will give this government a clearer idea of who and where our veterans are.”