Skip to main content

Gurkhas: Accommodation

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 20 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what discussions he has had with the Sultan of Brunei about the provision of married quarters for Gurkha soldiers based there; (186938)

(2) what interim financial arrangement he plans to make for Brunei-based Gurkhas who are unable to obtain a suitable married quarter there.

One battalion of Gurkhas (about 650 personnel) is permanently stationed in Brunei under the UK/Brunei Defence agreement. The rebuilding of the service families accommodation, single living accommodation and other facilities for the garrison in Brunei has been subject to negotiations within the UK/Brunei Joint Defence Committee. These detailed and constructive negotiations have been refined to take account of the improved Gurkha married accompanied service arrangements for Gurkhas, introduced in 2006, where Gurkhas with more than three years service have the same entitlement to married accompanied service as the rest of the British Army.

The development project for the garrison is proceeding in two stages, with a rolling programme providing accommodation planned for completion in 2011. The project is being paid for and delivered by the Government of Brunei, whose commitment is greatly appreciated by the UK Government.

When Gurkhas are subject to involuntary separation from their families, they are entitled to Longer Separation Allowance in accordance with the provisions of the Tri-Service Regulations for Allowances. This applies to those Gurkhas whose families are unable to join them in Brunei while the garrison development project is in progress.