Our Boys ripped off by the MoD

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by kennys-go-nad, Dec 27, 2007.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article622810.ece

    SCROOGE MoD chiefs are making a fortune by charging forces’ charities for holding fundraising events on military land.

    Warped ministry rules — exposed by The Sun today — mean do-gooders have to pay full commercial rents for their events.

    In one of the worst examples, the Army Benevolent Fund was landed with a £7,000 bill for using Sandhurst for a gala — while top actress Dame Judi Dench and singer Myleene Klass gave up their time for free.

    Other charities hit include the SSAFA — who help hard-up squaddies and their families — and Children In Need.

    Livid soldiers are petitioning PM Gordon Brown against making charities pay the same rent as private firms for events ranging from posh dinners to sponsored bike rides and parachute jumps.

    Up to a sixth of cash raised by charity events on military land in the last 18 months has gone to paying the rents — making the Treasury tens of thousands of pounds.

    The Sun’s Jeremy Clarkson, patron of our Help For Heroes campaign, said: “Forces charities don’t exist to make money for shareholders — they do it for the MoD’s own people.

    “If the Government has any compassion it must scrap these charges immediately.”

    The online petition to the PM already has almost 1,000 signatures, including serving officers.

    New Lib-Dem leader Nick Clegg last night vowed to champion the issue in Parliament.

    He said: “We ask for the ultimate sacrifice from our servicemen and women yet the Government continues to treat them in this shabby and disrespectful way.”

    An MoD spokeswoman said: “We charge to recover insurance, maintenance and admin fees — and cannot differentiate charities from other organisations.”

    Sign the petition here http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/servicecharities/#detail
  2. Not news, and not really much to do with the MOD. These rules have been around for ages and are run by Defence Estates - probably the one part of the MOD that is most akin to popular perceptions of civil servants.
    However, as I understand it, the reason behind the ruling comes from the Treasury which mandates that all Govt departments must claim back income from all users of land / assets / kit which is not being used for its primary purpose. When these events occur, you will incur charges for fuel / electricity / water and staffing costs. The treasury idea is that these costs should only be borne by the parent department if it is of direct benefit to them. All other claims, no matter how worthy will receive a bill.

    I know this sounds really harsh, but I can see the logic in it somewhere. We are overstretched financially and need to make savings - if we keep holding large events, which increase wear and tear, and raise utility bills to cover - we will need to find the money from somewhere. Would you rather procurement budgets are reduced so you can let a chairty have a soiree?

    This is not to take away the great work thats done by these events, but a lot of major sites will hold many events a year and the costs quickly add up. They are told of this when they book the event and have to agree to it - if they don't like it then they shouldnt' book the event on an MOD site.
  3. I'd say that the work the military charities do are a direct benefit to the MoD and the Government as a whole. Then again, that logic only applies if one considers that those people the charities help are worth spending time and money on - it would be far more cost-effective for the Government if these people simply gave up and killed themselves.
  4. The sooner this government realises that it cannot treat its troops like civilians the better. They are a special case and in my opinion for the following reasons
    1. On joining the military they loose their civil liberties
    2. They are asked to take deaths and casualties in numbers which would close down any civil undertaking and the directors would be in court. In other words health and safety does not apply nor can it in.
    3. Many troops are doing it for payments below the minimum wage.
    3. They are carrying out these duties on behalf on the the UK as a whole.
    4 It is the governments responsibility to honour the covenant and not hide behind charitable undertakings in order to reduce the cost of its policies.

    Service personnel are not civilians and the government should not try to treat them on par with civilians when it suits them to do so in order to make money when they are trying to raise money for facilities which this government should be providing anyway. The spurious argument that they must be treated like any other charity does not hold water. They are not any other charity and are being asked to do work which no other section of society are being asked to do. Exemption is therefor a moral necessity.
  5. We keep having the same problem when we try to use OUR barracks in Inverness for association BBQs and regimental reunions; it is OUR Headquarters and OUR former Depot now a TA camp. Run by Landmarc and they charge hundreds just to use the facilities (we ask for the use of a loo or two and pitch our own marquees). They also demand a £5 million public liability (up from £2 million last year) which also costs £200 more. They charge £15 a head if we accept their catering for something we get for £6-7 outside the barracks and so on. Makes it very difficult to keep associations together and meeting regularly. Our lads come from all over the UK and often overseas to attend functions; our funds are slowly being bled by these civilian firms and MoD charging for facilities that by rights used to belong to OUR regiment. Other units have RHQs and Museums outside MoD land and can afford to have big reunions using their own facilities. Why can't MoD allow associations who have HQs etc inside MoD barracks the same facilities at little or not cost?
  6. It's for sure that they made a good deal of money off LifeScan Scotland - a VERY large local employer who are part of Johnson & Johnson for those wondering who they are - when they hired Cameron Barracks out for their Summer BBQ and Summer Balls.

    I have always been curious as to how much the MoD and RHQ Highlanders, in turn, saw of the proceeds. Very little I suspect.
  7. Yes I agree... I was going to do a charity wipeyourknobathon on the curtains of every officers mess in the british army, however I am now going to have withdraw, definately, if they are going to charge me, and I was doing for free before, just to get the practice in!
  8. As with many things, a case of "Penny Wise, Pound Stupid"...

    A case of not seeing the bigger picture. The advantage that charities give the Armed Forces is out of proportion to the theoretical loss that is incurred as a result of these events. However to see that picture, you need to stand back a bit!

    The result of the last few batches of MOD reorgaisations has been to shift the managment of the estate away from the "core business" and either outsource it or give the job to some civvie out of the CoC. This is fundamentally stupid, estate managment is a key enabler to many military activities as we are seeing almost every day now...

    So, to add another demand to the list...

    1. Restore Crown Immunity
    2. Re-establish military managment of the logistic chain..
    3. Make estate management subject to the mil C o C.
  9. I wrote to my local MP Dr Murison about this. He wrote to the AF Minister who replied with the rubbish about staffing and amenities having to not make a loss on events. he then wrote back to say that he thought it was a feeble excuse and that he thought that the MOD could do something about especially as the charities were supporting, in many cases, stuff that the MOD should perhaps have been doing themselves.

    He sent me a copy of his letters. They were very good. I am pretty impressed with his performance
  10. I agree entirely this government does not seem to understand that keeping morale up is part of their responsibility and especially so if its policies are to to use its troops in expeditionary operations for the next decade or so. Just how do they think they are going to be able to do this when the rest of the population are at relative peace if its troops are not treated in a special way? If they don't pull their finger out on these issues
    they will be incapable of carrying out any form of foreign policy which needs troops. They won't have any. Its not just money it is how you keep an army at war with high morale when most of the remainder of the population are at peace and in affluence?
  11. Jim30 I have to disagree with that logic sorry (party line). Yes the MOD is financially overstretched and as a result having to rely heavily on armed forces charity organisations to foot the bill. Help for Heroes for example have been working non stop to raise money for a new Pool and Gym at Headley Court.
    The rehabilitation centres admissions has trebled why is that? :roll:

    To me it would be far more logical to lift the treasury rules for charity's that the MOD and the treasury would actually benefit from, and the reason why? How many events would be held if this was lifted? Hell of a lot more I would guess, and how many gave up after receiving the money request from DE.
    This so called Treasury rule has been lifted when it benefited the MOD in the past, no reason not to get it lifted now so the likes of SSAFA, RBL and H4H can get on with the job without this hindrance.
    So far the MOD have contributed nothing towards the new Pool and Gym. at headley. Nothing towards 36, Grays Lane and so on.

    lets get signing please :wink:
  12. "I have always been curious as to how much the MoD and RHQ Highlanders, in turn, saw of the proceeds. Very little I suspect"

    Highlanders - saw not a penny even though the additional disabled loos and facilities are in our HQ building and our Secretary has to come in to open them up. They have regular piping meets and the accommodation is used by all services not juts the TA - we had Navy, Dutch Marines and RAF recently. Yet all the money seems to go to Landmarc - however the wages they pay their staff are the bare minimum! Well done NuLabour - another so called efficiency drive that results in inefficient service and some clown making money which should really be helping the Forces. Bet the Chief of Landmarc gets a peerage if he/she hasn't already brought - sorry been awarded - one!
  13. I may be wrong but the latest guidance that I have seen seems to indicate that charges should not be levied if the event in question is of benefit to the MoD (i.e contributes towards the Army in Society piece), and virtually all of these events are.
  14. So why have the MOD not stated this in their response to the Petition and the MOD press office party line to the current bun?
  15. Although doesnt this raise the issue of why they are so desperate for money that they'd do this? Yet again its clearly labours fault for underfunding as if they gave the MOD the money they needed i doubt they would have to go to these lengths!

    I aint saying what they are doing is right, far from it, but yet again its because of Broons tight fisted approach to our troops :x