It might be easy to think that once a real crisis like the poor housing that armed forces personnel are provided with breaks, with a furious reaction from the public and in the media, politicians will finally get on the job and ensure it is fixed. However, today the Liberal Democrats have unearthed that by the Government's own figures they will take half a century to bring armed forces housing up to standard:
"In a written answer to Willie Rennie, the Liberal Democrat MP for Dunfermline and Fife West, Derek Twigg, the defence minister, said that the MoD had spent £16.4million of its housing budget upgrading existing stock to the highest level — called standard one.
Previously the MoD said it would cost £750million to bring all its houses up to standard, meaning it would take almost 46 years at last year's spending rate."
This is another problem with political management. Measures don't need to be effective, they just need to be enough for the minister to be able to pretend they have responded to the issue. Exactly the same thing happened with old council houses, before the Thatcher government allowed their occupants to buy them, councils didn't properly maintain them.
If members of the armed forces have to wait 46 years for acceptable housing they won't really be waiting for the funds they'll be waiting for the slow wheels of a politically managed bureaucracy to turn.