Monday, 9 November 2009

The Lack of Decent Military Housing



Yesterday the Sunday Post reported the lack of decent homes for thousands of service personnel. It would appear many are being put up in hotels and rented properties because of the present housing situation and it's a costly business.

Meanwhile, the article continues, 11,000 MoD homes sit empty, many judged in too poor a condition to be habitable.

Until the 1980s military personnel had to live either in billets or messes (for the single people) or army quarters (for the married). The rules did not allow for anyone to use a privately purchased home and claim removal expenses. A few did buy homes if they knew they were to be leaving the services within a few years, but owing to the regular mobility of the services and the costs involved selling and buying another property in another area, this wasn't common.

In the 80s the rules changed and more personnel decided to buy their own property. These were usually married individuals who otherwise would have occupied a quarter and of course, the result was more and more quarters began to stand vacant. In 1996 the MoD offloaded 57,600 homes under a controversial sale-and-lease-back scheme. The private firm involved sold off houses it deemed surplus to requirement, since when the MoD has increasingly relied on private rentals.

This article states 'Taxpayers fork out £6 million a month on rented flats and houses for forces personnel and their families'. That gives the impression military housing is free to personnel and it certainly is not.

Any personnel who wish to live in quarters or billets pays rent and all the usual domestic household bills. The rents are set by the Mod and are slightly less than council house charges.

Say for example, a single Major in the army is posted 200 miles away from his small flat in Bristol for six months. His hours of work will be varied and he's aware, because he will not be able to travel back regularly to his own home, he will require accommodation which the MoD are contracted to provide if requested. The Major, as well as paying his monthly mortgage on his own property has to pay rent on his MoD provided property. Renting out his own home isn't much of an option for a six month period because of the costs involved, so his property stands vacant and he's well out of pocket. He doesn't complain because he knew, when he decided he wanted to buy his own property, that this type of situation may well arise. Of course married personnel with their own homes are in a similar situation - paying for their accommodation away from home, but they know the family home is occupied.

Such a big difference between MPs isn't it? Taxpayers pay all the expenses of their accommodation away from home as well as much of the rent or mortgage on their family home.

A Major receives £20,000 (before annual increments) less than an MP as basic salary. He has no chance of employing his spouse, or any of his family, to increase the family income. His travel must always be second class, never first class. He pays for his dress uniform out of his own pocket and in many cases these days the cost of that alone can be a few thousand pounds.

Yet we have politicians and their supporting commentators saying MPs should be paid more. 'They work hard and have long hours'. A few weeks in the shadow of any serving military person would certainly show our politicians how privileged they are and how little they do - they're not worth another penny of our money.

17 comments:

Witterings From Witney said...

Nice post SR.

Perhaps we should swap the military and MPs round - we would be out of Afghanistan quicker than you could imagine - plus we get some people who know what management is all about!

subrosa said...

Now there's an idea WfW. But do you think they'd pay the going rate for rent though from their own pockets?

Sandy said...

Next step , PM will be sndng lttrs of cndolns wif txt msg.

Oh wait he's already started the transition with spelling mistakes and even managed to address the grieving mother by the wrong name.

The complete and utter disrespect is becoming more and more obvious every day.

Great Big Billygoat Gruff said...

Sandy. I am in two minds over Gordon Brown's to Mrs Janes.

First we know that does have a really bad single eye. Witness the letter and one he sent to a Tory MP in the McBride etc smear fiasco.

He wrote this letter when he medication had worn off

or

It is a cunning plan to give him a way out before the GE.

subrosa said...

At least his texting may be slightly better than his handwriting sandy.

subrosa said...

He is reported to have said last week that he writes to every family Billy. All part of the propaganda machine of course to show how sorry he is for killing their child because he has this burning desire to be seen as the US deputy.

AMW said...

" Say for example, a single Major in the army is posted 200 miles away from his small flat in Bristol for six months. His hours of work will be varied and he's aware, because he will not be able to travel back regularly to his own home, he will require accommodation which the MoD are contracted to provide if requested. The Major, as well as paying his monthly mortgage on his own property has to pay rent on his MoD provided property. Renting out his own home isn't much of an option for a six month period because of the costs involved, so his property stands vacant and he's well out of pocket. He doesn't complain because he knew, when he decided he wanted to buy his own property, that this type of situation may well arise. Of course married personnel with their own homes are in a similar situation - paying for their accommodation away from home, but they know the family home is occupied"
....
No way, no way, that has to change. Why is it Labour treat the army as some boys camp when they are putting their own lives at risk to carry out his botched policies?

They MP,s have a damn cheek for compaling aboit the kelly report.

subrosa said...

That was my reason for this post Spook. Many personnel get moved around on 'short' postings but they have to pay for their accommodation out of their own pocket. Whether it's in billets, a mess or a rented place it's still the same. Pay up.

tris said...

The more I learn, the more I despare Subrosa.

I've just done a piece on the latest moaning, whining, poor me nonsense from them.

I try to make these things lighthearted because I know my mum reads my blog and I don't want to swear too much on it, but I'm very very angry.

subrosa said...

I'm off to read your piece Tris.

You shouldn't be swearing at all if your Mum reads your blog. I do hope she writes a comment of complaint. :)

tris said...

Ye gads, I didn't swear. I'm not too big to go over her knee you know!!!!

subrosa said...

That's ok then. True, I'll bet she could give you a good walloping for being a bad laddie. :)

subrosa said...

That's ok then. True, I'll bet she could give you a good walloping for being a bad laddie. :)

CrazyDaisy said...

SR,

11 months to get a boiler replaced and 3 radiators, despite 5 visits over 6 months to re-measure radiators. I spent 4 days over the last 10 including wasting 3 days leave trying to get a functioning central heating system before winter arrives.

Guess what after speaking and having personal assurances from the duty manager on Moder Housing Solutions - their sub contractor _ Hudson failed to instal this weekend.

I'm now in the Falklands for a week, which means another weeks delay before I can re-engage. Looks like it will have been a whole 12 months without a proper functioning system.

The sad thing is I've had burst pipes and water pisssing through the roof on 2 occasions, last when I was in Afghanistan, all because these peopel are too lazy, incompetent and focused on profit rather than dealing with my issue effectively.

I remain calm, my wife however can't have her elderly Nan to stay or I have my kids to stay. We pay for the MoD house and a property we vacated, to live in London because HM Govt expects me to move. I don;t get MP styel kickbacks and I am just a public servant like they are, hoons!

Snowing here lol!

Crazy D

subrosa said...

Do hope many read your comment CD. If not then I'll do it as a post.

Doesn't surprise me in the least and as for handovers...

If only the public knew the half of it.

Dramfineday said...

How ironic that, as I was quoting from Kipling about army life for Tommy Atkins, you were thinking of this! Anyway it's worth saying again particlularly the first couple of lines -

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' 'Chuck him out, the brute!'
But it's 'Saviour of 'is country' when the guns begin to shoot;

Sickning how we expect our "Boys" and their families to exist. (the inverted commas were for CD's benefit incase she comes back with a gunship and points it at me)

subrosa said...

Great, thanks Dram. CD is ok, he's one of the boys too. In fact, I would go as far to say he's one of the slightly older boys. Perhaps mature is a better word. :)

Related Posts with Thumbnails