Bad Housing

Complaints about the quality of soldiers' housing in Scotland have increased five times last year, according to new figures.

A Freedom of Information (FoI) request submitted by the SNP has revealed that there were 517 complaints in 2016, up from 101 in 2015.

The request has also found that the MoD has received a total of 768 complaints since 2015, including 150 so far this year.

They range from the duration of works and communication to missed appointments.

Gordon MacDonald, who represents Edinburgh Pentlands at Holyrood, told BBC Scotland:

"This is a shocking rise in complaints in one year, and shows just how badly the MoD have handled changes to soldiers' accommodation.

"Service personnel do an extraordinarily difficult job and deserve better than botched repairs and poor workmanship in their homes.

"The MoD need to consider these failures very carefully and make sure that these mistakes are not repeated."

It comes after a report by the Public Accounts Committee which concluded that Armed Forces families have been "badly let down" by the MoD and its contractor CarillionAmey.

CarillionAmey have been contracted to provide repairs and maintenance for service family accommodation since 2014.

In May, the Commons Defence Committee found that efforts to improve housing for military personnel have failed to raise standards enough.

However, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said it spent £660m in improving housing over the last six years.

An MoD spokesperson said that they are continuing to 'improve the quality of accommodation for the Armed Forces and their families':

"Last year we refurbished 4,700 homes and spent £450m on keeping rent costs down. Figures to date for 2017 show a significantly lower number of complaints”.

In 2016, the Head of the Army told Forces News a shake-up of how military accommodation is provided was work in progress.