I am sure that Servicemen are relieved to hear that the MoD will continue to provide subsidised accommodation to those with a need for it, but the killer question will be at what cost?
Director Service Personnel Policy, Gavin Barlow states that the investment in accommodation will increase, but by improving the standard of Service accommodation and introducing a new grading system it is clear that the charges will rise. Comparing quality and standards to the civilian market is all well and good, but how soon before the charges will be hiked to a comparable civilian level?
The proposed House Purchase Initiative is to be welcomed by offering Service families a greater opportunity to buy their own home. This will particularly suit those in the RN, RAF and settled Army units in the south of England, however it will prove problematic for those units in the Army who will still arms plot, as well as those officers and soldiers moving from Regimental Duty to an External Regimental Employment. Could this hasten the end of accompanied service, with families settling in an area and an increasing number of military spouses serving married unaccompanied? It will interesting to see how unaccompanied service will be supported in this New Employment Model.
Is it a myth that the NEM will force Service personnel out of subsidised accommodation? It is far too early to see if this myth has been busted, especially as no detail has been given. BAFF looks forward to reading the facts and influencing the debate...