Armed Forces

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:45 pm on 22nd November 2007.

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Photo of Lord Boyce Lord Boyce Crossbench 3:45 pm, 22nd November 2007

My Lords, I hope that the noble Baroness will not mind my interrupting her to clarify one point. A number of the UORs that are purchased are to put equipment into place that has previously been removed because of a lack of budgetary endowment in the defence budget. It is not new equipment; it is often equipment that was taken out in a budgetary spending round and is then reinserted to meet the urgent operational requirements. While the noble Baroness is on her equipment paragraph, as it were, many noble Lords have agreed that equipment in the theatre is satisfactory. The important point is that the second line, about to become the first line, is impoverished in terms of equipment. That is dangerous. People are putting their lives at risk because they cannot train on the equipment that they will meet when they get to the theatre. That is the problem that the Government are not addressing.

Annotations

Caroline Taylor
Posted on 23 Nov 2007 12:33 pm (Report this annotation)

It is not just shortage of equipment or the poor state of repair of some of the equipment what about the rumours of personal insurance to be increased by 100% for those who have no choice but to do tours as part of their job, yet they are once again penalised because of the MOD and goverment treating the men and women who put their lives at risk daily fighting for their country to be paid back by second rate treatment. I think the government and the MOD need to get a grip and look at the real issues relating to the armed forces and speak to those who count, the soldiers especially the lower ranks who never seem to have a say and whose opinions don't seem to count for very much, yet it is them that are on the frontline. As an army wife I have been fighting for improved housing and for the MOD to realise that Modern Housing Solutions who carry out repairs on Service Family Accommodation pay for a contract which is inadequate. Using second hand parts and botching jobs as temporary measures is not helping the SFA standard issue.

Daniel Jackson
Posted on 27 Nov 2007 1:21 pm (Report this annotation)

I would very much concur with the above point. Many noble and gallant Lords have spoken well on a variety of defence areas - clearly in many cases from points of authority from knowing the military first hand. Were perhaps more of the current administration privvy to such experience, we may not have half the problems we face today.