It is scandalous that as service men and women are fighting for this country, their kids are having cold showers because we haven’t repaired their boiler!Mark Francois, MP Members of J company 42 Commando Royal Marines conducting a multi-national attack to remove Taliban insurgents from Sangin, Afghanistan, April 6, 2007. Credit:Corporal Adrian Harlen/PA The criticism came in the annual Armed Forces Covenant report by the Commons Defence Select Committee, published on the 2018 Armed Forces Day. The cross-party group of MPs was concerned that the MoD were “marking their own homework” when assessing their effectiveness in the delivery of pledges.The military covenant expresses the moral obligation of the government to former and serving military personnel and their families.The report criticised the sale of forces accommodation to Annington Homes as a “disastrous failure [that] has exposed the Department to considerable risk”. The deal has attracted criticism across parliament. The annual report of the Public Accounts Committee said on Friday the MoD had lost out on billions of pounds as a result of the sale, and a rent review by Annington Homes in 2021 “may well result in the situation getting even worse for the taxpayer”. Ministers have a “moral obligation” to lift the cap on armed forces pay, MPs say.The 1 per cent pay cap for service personnel has had “a negative impact on the morale of, and recruitment to and retention in, the Armed Forces,” says a new report by the Defence Committee.An award limited to 1 per cent would be very disappointing, and risk further undermining morale, the report warns.Chairman of the Defence Committee, Julian Lewis MP, said: “It would be disgraceful if our Service people missed out on an increase in pay while they watched others who work for the Government receive pay awards. What kind of message does that send to soldiers about how much we value the difficult and sometimes dangerous job that they do?”The 1 per cent public sector pay cap, part of the government’s austerity programme, has increasingly been breached in recent months. In March the NHS were offered average pay increases of 6.5 per cent over three years with lowest paid workers enjoying a 29 per cent pay rise. Police and prison officers have accepted rises of 1 per cent with a 1 per cent bonus, and 1.7 per cent respectively. Firefighters rejected an offer of a 2 per cent rise.Teachers and military personnel have received no increase in pay. Critics point out that as the Office for Budget Responsibility has forecast inflation to be 2.4 per cent in 2018, most of these will feel like pay cuts despite the increase. The Defence Committee’s report additionally highlighted the “lamentable” management of service accommodation by contractor CarillionAmey. The ‘not fit for purpose’ contract had no enforcement measures and had only required “woefully low” standards from the company.Speaking to the Telegraph, Mark Francois MP, a member of the Defence Committee said: “It is scandalous that as service men and women are fighting for this country, their kids are having cold showers because we haven’t repaired their boiler!”The report recommended each government department should explain how they have discharged their particular responsibilities to the covenant in their annual reports and nominate an external board member to monitor delivery of pledges.Giving evidence to the committee in February, Tobias Ellwood, the MoD’s Veterans Minister, said he was frustrated at the lack of cross-Whitehall support:“We require other Whitehall Departments to recognise their duty under the Armed Forces covenant.”“Culturally, that is something that is taking time to change. We are seeing that change take place, but in some cases it is frustratingly slow. We need to see greater accountability across Whitehall.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.