I think it will work - we'll eventually have a far smaller SFA footprint, which will ease the burden on the cost to DIO, which in turn means they may be able to provide better quality across the board.
Meanwhile I would hope, but suspect otherwise, that our overall package is adjusted to offset the loss of subsidised MQs which is a reasonably big recruitment and retention point, but if the offset it to allow more people to access the property market that would be a better overall move.
I wonder if they will then cease CEA entirely, as the stability rationale will be utterly diminishing for all but a very few people. It will be interesting to see how those who camp in Baseports on 'mobility' terms for 6 years then pop away for a brief period and then come straight back accept that?
The one thing about NEM that I really don't think is well considered is the concept of career breaks - I've had one inflicted upon me, with no warning the Army endorsement a request for a 2 year break of service, which means I have to accept a gap. I get the rationale but there needs to be a better screening process or we will break the system entirely.
Noting you're wearing the pain, I'd suggest there should be little or no line manager input to it. Which sane LM would accept a gap purposefully? The entire point is that it is for the serviceperson's benefit, not the system. If LMs have a yes/no input, all you'd hear is 'no'!
And this is another example of why in manning terms we're utterly buggered. The needs of the service/the employer should come first, it's an old chestnut but I simply see no rationale under which a person filling a priority gap is allowed to take a 2 year sabbatical if the donating Service cannot fill the post immediately ( and even then there will be a period of reduced capacity).
The LM should be making the CoC aware of what the business impact will be, that's where the LM input comes from and then the manning authorities agree to either soft gap or fill (priority as required).
It's one of the reasons why some of our key shore side areas are struggling.