Defence spending row as chiefs spend £730 million on taxis,

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by western, Jun 30, 2008.

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  1. From to-days Telegraph:

    The row over defence spending on vehicles for troops on the frontline has been reignited after it was disclosed the MoD spent £730 million on meals, hotels and taxis for civil servants in a 12-month period.
    It is more than twice as much as was spent on vehicles for servicemen and women in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    The figures emerged two weeks after Cpl Sarah Bryant and three members of the SAS were killed when their lightly protected Snatch Land Rover was destroyed by a landmine in Afghanistan.

    The Snatch Land Rover was brought into service in the 1970s for those serving in Northern Ireland but critics say the vehicles do not offer enough protection for troops in Afghanistan and should be replaced

    Gravy Train
  2. 2.25% of defence budget. how many civil servants are there in the mod?
  3. msr

    msr LE

    More than there are soldiers?

  4. the article doesn't include details of who is counted as a civil servant, it is therefore impossible to draw a conclusion.
  5. It would be interesting to see if any of those hotel stays were in the vicinity of an officers/sergeants mess, or other suitable military accomodation. It's always the budgets people making us stay in transit accom while they large it up in the nearest hotel. Apparently mess accom isn't up to their standard.......
  6. Whats this, no PAYD for civil servants?
  7. Note that the article said
    then later on it says
    Transportation is a much broader thing than taxies.

    Also the article compares this with
    Does that include armoured vehicles? I suspect not.

    Now, I am in favour of bashing MOD spending priorities, but let's get the facts straight first.
  8. Well thats enough for 4000 Range Rovers a year, or 10,000 BMW 5 series with full maintenance including tyres and fuel for 20,000 miles per year per car! All bought outright. So lets get the facts right :roll:
  9. The FOI request was for travel and allowances paid out by the MOD and covers not only the snival service HRMS claims but also JPA claims made by all three services. All I can say is that welcome to the world of 'actuals' and using third party booking services to rip the MOD off. I wonder how many times people have found the MOD rate is actually greater than the price you can get by booking a hotel or hiring a car direct!
  10. Before the outrage bus gets worked up into full flow, let me try and put a few facts out there. I am a MOD CS and I am an officer in the Reserves as well – so I’m seeing this from both sides.
    The article is deliberately provocative and paints an image that all of us CS sit there in air conditioned luxury, swilling wine and living it up in fine hotels. If only that were true! The CS travel standards are pretty strict – you have a maximum cap of between £70 - £110 per night for your hotel, depending on the city you’re in, which is booked centrally . To deviate from this, you need to get a lot of senior people to sign it off and frankly it doesn’t happen often without bloody good reason.
    What does £70-£110 get you? Not much! The CS mandated standards for booking a hotel is an ensuite room with desk, TV and secure fittings for personal safety. In practise this works out at roughly a travellodge – budget hotel rate. Those of you who travel often will realise that £100 won’t get you much in the hotel world nowadays. Overseas, particularly where the exchange rate is weaker you may get a better hotel – although this is usually down to luck!
    The idea of quaffing fine wine is also fantasy – we get to claim back actual for expenses, which include ½ a bottle of wine, or a pint of beer when staying overnight somewhere. Trust me that these expenses do get scrutinised and if you come in above your estimate on the costs form, you’ve got a lot of explaining and disciplinary action ahead of you.
    As for “business class flights” – I wish! Trying to get business class travel is very difficult indeed – the only time you get it is for a flight over 7 hours long, when you’re working the next day. Otherwise you go economy. The MOD is extremely strict on business class flights now – so its very much the exception to get it.
    As for the idea that we should all stay in messes –absolutely disagree with that one. A mess is a home for someone in a unit, to an outsider it is usually a very cold and intimidating place indeed. The furniture is poor, the facilities are dire and as soon as the inhabitants (if they deign to speak with you) realise that you are a CS, then you are in for a prolonged “CS are scum who hate the forces and you are to blame for all that is wrong with the system rant”. Add the draconian dress rules – I was once bollocked for removing my suit jacket in the height of summer to eat dinner at the RE mess in chatham, and you have an environment where CS feel very uneasy. Don’t forget that to many, the idea of mess facilities makes them uncomfortable- to you its part of a lifestyle that you signed up for. To CS, who didn’t chose a career in the forces, it is a very unattractive prospect indeed.
    Finally, before you assume that all CS live the high life, while poor forces people suffer in squalor- I’d suggest that some of the worst abuses I’ve seen of the travel budget have come from serving forces personnel...
  11. If certain reports are to be believed, 330 mill would purchase between 462 and 561 Mastiffs.....
  12. The usual outrage from the telegraph, the figure is for the entire MoD and i'm pretty amazed they come out with us spending less than £365 million on vehicles in the last year, considering we've put in Jackal, Mastiff and so on, plus the upkeep and modification of current vehicles and additional support vehicles, this isn't including the budgets for projects such as FRES, OUVS and so on either.
  13. So CS find Mess accomodation uncomfortable and intimidating? If you're looking for sympathy for these poor little lambs, you know where to find it...

    In the dictionary. Between Sh1t and Syphalis. :twisted:
  14. SNATCH didn't come into service until about 1994. SNATCH 2 (the one being used in Iraq and Afghanistan) didn't come into service until about 2000.
  15. "So CS find Mess accomodation uncomfortable and intimidating? If you're looking for sympathy for these poor little lambs, you know where to find it..." mainly because arrogant pricks like yourself think we're the root of all evil - I like to drink somewhere where I'm not seen to be the anti christ, just because I work for the MOD...