Military accommodation: Doing the Sums

The Armed Forces Minister, Bob Ainsworth has responded to the publication of the House of Commons Defence Committee report on Defence Estates.

He highlights that over the next 10 years, £5Bn will be spent on the Services' accommodation. Now forget about maintenance of current buildings for a minute and consider new SLAM accommodation.

There are currently 71,000 houses and 165,000 MOD bedspaces worldwide. 41% of accommodation is sub-standard (Newsnight 06/09/07). Just to sort out the 41% of SLA (67,650beds), £5Bn will provide £73k per bed.

That's quite a lot you would think, but if you look at Tony Blair's announcment (11/01/07), the next phase of Project SLAM contract for 3,800beds costs £335M or £88k per bedspace. Add inflation to this (at 3% per annum) and at the end of the 10 year investment each bedspace will be costing £118k in 2017.

If all the SLA were replaced with SLAM at the same cost of that announced by Tony Blair, £14.5Bn would be required, and that is in today's money.

And all this is without spending a penny on married quarters...

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