I tend to steer well clear of the Daily Mail type stories about civil servants and top brass living it up on MoD expenses and Purchasing Cards because the truth is often a whole lot more mundane and defensible than the headlines would have you believe but having read this story in posh persons Daily Mail, otherwise called the Telegraph, I think there should be a serious bout of reflection.
The story is about the loss of perks for Senior Officers and Civil Servants across the MoD
There is often a whiff of class envy about these stories and we do have to maintain some balance, after all, travelling long haul economy for senior managers in most commercial organisations is quite rare and First Class Travel on the rail network can have advantages such as allowing people to work whilst travelling.
We don’t need to be silly.
But one figure in the story did raise an eyebrow;
More than £19 million was saved last year through a ban on all first class travel for civilian and military personnel.
It doesn’t specify whether that is First Class on the railways or First Class by air, which are two wholly different things, but if this figure was made up largely of air fares then it is astounding that successive administrations have allowed this to continue.
There is very little difference between Business and First Class on scheduled air travel, luckily, I have experienced both, except the price.
The MoD, despite having a relatively speaking, huge budget, is constantly telling all and sundry that they are always short of cash.
Sifting the facts from the journalistic bullshit is as difficult as ever but this one does leave a number of serious questions to answer because to be perfectly blunt, £19 million is quite a few Mastiff’s or accommodation refurbishments or decent prosthetic limbs.