Thursday, 29 March 2012


It’s always gratifying to know that someone is reading what you’re writing and that the message is hitting the target. This blog was quoted in Parliament on Monday during a Defence debate. Gemma Doyle, Shadow Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare & Veterans, suggested that Andrew Robathan, Under Secretary of State for Defence, should read our website and blog to find out how the budget announcements on defence were received. The Minister’s response was sadly what we have come to expect from politicians, somewhat evasive, suggesting that ‘the right honourable lady should not believe every word that appears on every blog on the internet’ rather than answering her questions. However, at AFF we source information directly from Command, government and you the Army families community, so whilst I am not surprised by Mr Robathan’s comment you can be reassured that we check out the detail to give you the clearest picture.

Anyway, back to the Defence debate where Miss Doyle quoted the blog, which in not so many words says that the new housing money for Service Accommodation announced in the budget was not NEW money but is actually the OLD paused money minus 30%. This was a golden opportunity for Mr Robathan to dispel our fears, to explain that this was in fact NEW money and to tell us when the OLD paused money will reappear. But he didn’t ….so I have this to say….SHOW ME THE MONEY….. because as sure as Mr Robathan is of the unreliability of blogs I’m equally sure that the devil we find in the detail will be that £100million is not really a cause for celebration but is, in fact, just 70% of the originally allocated money and that the chronic underfunding of defence is set to continue.

At any rate, we’re looking forward to Mr Robathan coming to the AFF Conference in September where I can guarantee that Army families will be planning their questions and will be expecting significantly more transparent answers about housing and so much more……


  1. I concur - it's just a lot of flummery on the government's part, like so much else they've said and done. Time to exit stage left and with haste.

  2. I've spent 32 years as a 'wife of' and all I can say is that when my OH finally leaves in 3 years we will both be glad to go. I really worry for the younger generation of wives coming through the system today, I thought I was tough, but I don't think if I had young children I would want to be married to a serviceman today.

    What is it going to take to make the Government realise how far they are going down a slippery slope and completely destroying our armed forces?