The collapse of the armed services

It is shocking?? but not surprising to read of the damage being done to the army and navy by this government’s budget plans and poor management of the money. I have never known morale so low, or money so badly spent.

The poor state of barracks and quarters has caught the attention of the media. Many soldiers would like to be able to gain a foothold on the housing ladder, like their friends on civvy street. The MOD should look at ways of helping soldiers acquire a property of their own – maybe by allowing them to take on poor MOD housing and fix it up for a share of the equity, coupled with a further share based on their mortgage capacity.??When they leave the armed services the equity could be sold on to the replacement coming into the service under the same equity share/mortgage scheme at market prices.

Officers I have talked to say the army does not have the expertise to go into the housing market, yet that is exactly what it has done in the rented market. Ministers need to move with the times, and let organisations into defence housing that can help arrange the finance. Another way of protecting people from rising house prices would be an army savings scheme that put the soldiers money into financial instruments linked to house prices, so they could be saving for the deposit/share of a house whilst serving.

Each naval person has a home port they return to after each operation. Maybe each soldier should have a home barracks/married quarters they return to after overseas tours. If they are going with their families on long overseas tours the army could help find a temporary tenant for their property to give them an additional rental income. Maybe more marriages would survive the stresses of army life if there was home that remained permanent during their time in the army, where wife and family or husband and family could stay during most courses of duty for the service member of the family.

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3 Comments

  1. Kit
    Posted January 7, 2007 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Any chance of spending money on equipment to keep them alive? We are fighting in two war zones and the Tories seem to be worried about dirty bathrooms.
    How many more British soldiers need to die in those "Snatch" death traps?

  2. billy
    Posted January 8, 2007 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Steve McClaughlin(sp?) author of Sqaddie infers that tiredness among drivers is causing many of the RTA's in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our army is overstretched in two war zones at least one of which we have no business being in. More soldiers, better equipment and out of Iraq. Let them fight it out among themselves.

  3. Neil Craig
    Posted January 11, 2007 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    The fear of not getting a foot on the ladder on the housing market is a symptom of the fact that we have come to expecthouse prices are going to rise forever faster than inflation. This is not only undesireable, since it attracts investment which in a stable society would go into shareholding, it is ultimately unsustainable. Nothing can rise faster than the average forever.

    In fact the rise in house prices is entirely due to government & local government regulations which prevent housebuilding. Technicaly there is no reason why houses, which a century ago cost as much as cars, should now cost much more.

    Perhaps one option would be to give a legal right to anybody who leaves the army, to build a house, except on greenbelts or national parks, on 1/6th of an acre without seeking planning permission. This would give them a right we should all enjoy, greatly improve army morale & put a wedge in a door we might all someday hope to open.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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