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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
John Siddle

Taxpayers fork out millions on hotels for defence chiefs as troops live in squalor

Defence chiefs spend millions staying in five-star hotels around the world while soldiers live in squalor.

Hundreds of senior officers and officials have enjoyed luxurious £500-a-night hotels in Hawaii, Dubai and the Caribbean while working for the government.

On one three-night trip, two people ran up a £3,000 bill at the Kimpton Seafire Resort and Spa in Grand Cayman – one of the Caribbean’s most exclusive resorts.

And an officer racked up a bill of £2,700 for five nights at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu.

A total of £230million went on travel in the last three years.

The Ministry of Defence also spent almost £17million on hire cars in the last year and a further £1million on chauffeured rides in the last two years.

It was billed £5,383 for one official’s 70-mile trip from Witney in Oxfordshire to Westminster.

The figures, released after a Freedom of Information request, were branded “shocking” by one ex-officer. Col Philip Ingram said: “Luxury on trips seems to be the norm, as is tolerating personnel and families living in squalor in some places. That is the application of gross double standards.”

In December, our sister paper the Sunday People revealed that thousands lived in damp, mouldy, freezing and ramshackle homes.

Since 2021, squaddies and their families have made more than 9,000 complaints.

Helen Murray of Emsworth in Hampshire lives in military housing and has many problems with her house which haven’t been fixed (Helen Murray)

One woman told how her home was left without heating for two months over the winter because of a faulty gas valve. She said: “This is beyond a joke. The world needs to know how service families are being treated.”

Another Army wife waited over four years to have a window fixed.

And a warrant officer spent £350 heating his home in December. He said: “It would be cheaper to live in a tent than it would these piles of crap they call homes.”

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “Expenses are subject to strict controls and staff must prove their stay is needed and value for money.”

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