Independent - Sun 21 Dec 08 - senior officers take a kicking

Luxury for generals but hovels for the soldiers

Millions spent on top officers' homes while lower ranks miss out
By Jonathan Owen and Brian Brady
Sunday, 21 December 2008

James Hanning: Our troops know Iraq. Let's listen to them

Millions of pounds are being spent annually on dozens of luxurious homes complete with domestic staff, including cooks, cleaners and gardeners, for Army top brass. More than £4.4m was spent on "official service residences" last year, according to new figures disclosed by the Ministry of Defence under Freedom of Information rules.

The figures have provoked anger among politicians and campaigners who called the amounts "horrendous" last night and contrasted them with "appalling" accommodation conditions faced by most ordinary soldiers.
More on the link
Lord Cardigan lived on his yacht in the Crimea while the army froze and starved nothing changes.
We spent hours and hours scrubbing, bumping floors, cleaning windows and walls both in barracks and pads - so the lower ranks' "hovels" were clean and livable - judging by a certain accommodation area I see regularly there's little evidence of that these days... unless someone out there knows differently
No, Skynet didn't read the forum before he posted.

Merging now.
Dont get it.... accom in the army has always been sh1t and if there was ever a broken or rusty bit of stuff we mended it/cleaned it sanded buffed painted or hid it. I personally think the initiative side of the army seems to be none existant now. Having said that global commitments are higher now so I can understand the lack of time / interest in wire wooling the bath or shower trays n all that gash. I have seen the conditions in some of the residential areas and yeh they do at times look shabby, so (living a little in the past maybe) but where the hell or what the hell has happened to the pads estate officers / wardens as I remembered them their soul job was to oversee ALL maintenance within the MQ estates.
Another thought is WTF is with all the choggies who work for the MOD why the hell cant they pick up a bleedin shovel or a cloth? In fact ( chavs serving comunity service orders) why cant they be forced to sweep paint clean and gravel etc the camps. I didnt have an MQ pad for too long as my ex didnt like it but concidering the accomodation doesnt really comprise of much I cant see how it can cost the earth to put right.
We should start an E petition and send it to parliament. by the way I looked and didnt find any "merged thread" or any other thread on this after refreshing so dont whinge if it is/was.
some of the comments on the indie site are pretty funny - along with the selective reporting - nothing to see here, non-story move on!
Great article to wind people up, but forgets to mention that these so-called 'luxury houses' are often used for entertaining and conducting state business. The small retinue is designed to support the very busy individuals and put on a reasonable level of hospitality.

It would be better to see these houses as places of work, where someone happens to live, rather than homes in the truest sense. I beleive that most seniors own somewhere else anyway that they consider 'home'.
I apreciate the story of the "luxury houses" is just a bone thread, but junior ranks accomodation is a bag of w@nk still.
Another thread dedicated to those facts would be a better idea i spose.


Book Reviewer
So, when there is official entertaining to be done, is Mrs General expected to put her pinny on and turn to and do the cooking? Or should the General have an expense allowance to take his Peruvian or whatever equivalent out to dinner? Where, if they have matters to discuss that ought not to be overheard? Also, some senior officers have, for operational reasons, to live 'over the shop' and how much rent does Gordon Mugabe pay for No.10? And how does this expense compare to what was spent in Westminster doing up first the Lord Chancellor's and later the speaker's accommodation to bring it up to an appropriate standard for a ZanuLiabour apparatchik?
I love it......

MPs Outraged at £4.4 Million pound bill across the entire top brass....

ANd just how much in allowances and tax relief have EACH MP been claiming over these last few years..... I think they are just trying to shift some of teh outrage focus from their lives onto others.

Top Bras offficers, are basically executives, and what they get compared to other public servants of equivalent ranks is pretty paltry.

Police, Fire Service, NHS Top Brass they all get allowances.

I think they are just trying to get the bus warmed up in the old Them and Us (they have we dont) scenario. TBH when you look at the amounts being spent on Z Type accommodation and refurbishing MQ (which is long overdue and still sadly lacking) £4.4 million isnt exactly a lot
I'm pretty sure that a similar non-story was put out some time last year but don't have time to search. As has been suggested already, the notion of MPs being outraged about expenses / perks of position is beyond ludicrous!
Senior Officers live in expensive mansions?

It is obviously THEIR fault we are in a credit crunch then.....

Read AL ABHAT IT, read AL ABHAT IT. Utter non-story with people to blame for your financial woes!!!!

The "perks" of the Top Generals, et al, are part of their pay package, in the same way executives get company cars and phones. These "non-taxable" wages are merely an extention of the renumeration package.

Once we start breathing the rarifyed air at these exalted ranks, their homes really do become essential. You can hardly host a candlelight supper for 4 stars from other nations or similar in a 3 bedroom terraced house packed on a SFA estate. Their home is a sort of exclusive "mess".

Nor do I resent their drivers, chefs or anyother batman. When we pay these guys as much as we do for what they do, they´d better be doing what they do full time. Not mucking about ironing their uniform or driving. Again in the business world this sort of thing happens. I argued the point that as a paid Telecoms Specialist I would be paid to do my own admin and as a result less of my specialist work would be carrdThe arguement of whether they do these paid for items well is another issue.

Yes, these homes are looked after, yes their are pads houses that you would probably struggle to allow immigrants or welfare cases in, but there is very little connection.

As has been said many times before. The estates were allowed to fall in to worse and worse repair by successive generations of top brass and CS. There was always something more valuable. It is a "recent phenonemon" that housing standards have been to directly affect such things as recruiting, retention and overall morale and duly such matters have been given higher priorty.

In summary a non story, why have the housing arrangements of MPs, ministers or senior Civil Servants not been similarly discussed?
Dear Indie,

Having been invited to the quarters of various senior officers over the years, I can assure you all that they have much the same furniture, fixtures, fittings and standards of repair and decoration as the rest of us.


When I asked how she was faring in the new posting, a 1* wife I know, complained bitterly that she was living in the coldest, gloomiest and most uncomfortable house she had ever experienced, was expected to entertain various people at the drop of a hat and she saw even less of her husband than she had in his previous job!

I wonder what bit of bad news labour are trying to get out under the radar when this sort of story is being trumpeted?

Perhaps we should be scouring the columns for the real story instead of the quite rightly noted non-story.

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