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Defence and Security Strategy

Vigilance can report that the Defence Minister Mark Francois last week confirmed that a brand new discount card, exclusively for members of the armed forces, their families and veterans, will be rolled out this week in time for money off Christmas gifts and everyday items.

 

Vigilance learnt that over 50 high street companies and businesses had pledged generous discounts to show their support for the Armed Forces community through the Defence Discount Service. The new Defence Privilege Card, which will be available to sign up for online this week, will ensure our Armed Forces community get exclusive discounts from participating stores across the country. This new card will provide money off items ranging from children’s toys, winter knitwear, mobile phones and even food shopping.

So far it is said over 24,000 members of the Armed Forces community have joined the scheme to date. Examples of the discounts they will now be able to access include:

• 10 per cent off all groceries at Iceland;

• 20 per cent off phone contracts at Vodafone;

• 20 per cent off cinema tickets at Vue Cinemas;

• an introductory 20 per cent followed by 15 per cent off everything in store at Austin Reed;

• 10 per cent off everything at KFC; and

• 3 to 10 per cent off gift cards ordered from the Defence Discount Service website for most major supermarkets, Boots, Toys R Us, Topman, Currys, Debenhams, House of Fraser, B&Q, Homebase and H Samuel.

The roll out of the new Defence Privilege Card coincides with the publication of the first annual report on the Armed Forces Covenant. This sets out key disadvantages the Government has tackled over the last year to improve life for our Armed Forces Community and ensures personnel and their families are not unfairly affected by their service to their country.

Handing out the first Defence Privilege Cards at Downing Street yesterday the Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I am delighted that we have managed to get so many companies to sign up to this – and just in time for Christmas. As well as allowing people to save money, these discounts are a token of the immense appreciation that we all have for our Armed Forces. It is fitting that the cards are launched in the year that the military have done so much for our country, not just abroad but here in the UK, showing the very best of British during the Olympics and the Jubilee.”

Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans Mark Francois added: “The men and women of our Armed Forces, their families and our veterans reflect what is best in our society. That is why we are committed to rebuilding the Armed Forces Covenant and it is with great pride that I am publishing the first ever Armed Forces Covenant report today.

“We have made good progress over the last year that has led to real changes for people. It’s great that some 230 local authorities have got behind this work and signed Community Covenants around the country. Businesses are now following suit and under the Defence Discount Service they are committing money off little luxuries and everyday items for personnel, their families and veterans. We will also be rolling out a brand new Defence Privilege Card to help people redeem these offers easily in store or online.

“I recognise there is still more to be done but we are not complacent and we will continue to work hard to make even more improvements over the next year.