BARNSLEY Central MP Dan Jarvis urged the Ministry of Defence to ‘act urgently’ and ‘move heaven and earth’ to fix accommodation issues for military personnel.
Dan, a former major in the Parachute Regiment, urged the Ministry of Defence told the House of Commons: “It cannot be right that we have service personnel and their families living in sub-standard and appalling conditions. Those who step forward to serve deserve and expect better.
“The government has a moral obligation to ensure everyone who chooses to put on uniform is properly looked after and they are failing to honour that.
“The current standards of service accommodation are just not good enough, we are a very long way from homes fit for heroes and the government must urgently get a grip and fix this.”
His concerns have been echoed by John Healey, MP for Wentworth and Dearne.
He said that Ministry of Defence data, uncovered by Labour, shows that 1,720 service personnel live in Grade Four single living accommodation - the lowest rating possible.
Across the country, 40 per cent of personnel living in single living accommodation occupy ‘Grade Four’ accommodation.
A further 4,360 personnel live in accommodation so poor that no rental charge is levied.
Just over a fifth live in the top ‘Grade One’ accommodation, the lowest proportion since 2018.
The figures were obtained by the South Yorkshire MP, who said Conservative ministers were ‘failing in their duty to personnel, who are forced to live in discomfort as properties fall into disrepair’.
Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey said: “Our Armed Forces should have homes fit for heroes, but these shocking figures reveal the state of their accommodation in Yorkshire.
“After 12 years in government it should shame Conservative ministers that our country’s forces have to put up with such poor conditions.
“Labour stands foursquare behind our armed forces, and I will continue to fight to make sure personnel get the standard of accommodation they deserve.”
The Ministry of Defence awards grades to its single living accommodation based on ‘deficiency points’ allocated across 14 categories.
Points are apportioned for the condition of bedroom decoration, fixtures and fittings, adequacy of heating systems and the proximity of toilet and washing facilities, among other factors.
There is currently no minimum quality standard set and no minimum acceptable conditions that service personnel should expect.
A 2021 National Audit Office report on Single Living Accommodation exposed ‘decades of under investment’ and ‘problems with heating and hot water’.