1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
Dismiss Notice
We are a non commercial community interested only in the discussion of all things military. We do not sell or authorise the use of images hosted on our servers, if you wish to purchase or use imagery contact the uploader directly.(you will need to register). Any requests received to purchase or use imagery will be ignored. Thank you and welcome to MI.Net

Defence budget unafordable

Discussion in 'Military Rants' started by John A Silkstone, Dec 15, 2009.


  1. John A Silkstone United Kingdom

    John A Silkstone Mi General MI.Net Member

    Messages:
    1,676
    Likes Received:
    116
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Defence budget "consistently unaffordable"

    Britain's defence budget falls at least 6 billion pounds short of spending commitments on aircraft, ships and other equipment, a parliamentary spending watchdog said on Tuesday.

    The National Audit Office (NAO) issued its bleak assessment shortly before the government, heavily committed in the war in Afghanistan, was due to announce defence cuts to help reduce a record government budget deficit.

    The first indications of those cuts are expected later on Tuesday when Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth makes a statement on "defence equipment priorities."

    The NAO said the shortfall over the next decade would rise to 36 billion pounds -- equivalent to a full year's military budget -- if defence spending was frozen.

    "In either case the budget remains consistently unaffordable over the next 10 years," the watchdog said.

    Closing the gap would require "bold action" in a strategic defence review planned after the 2010 general election, NAO head Amyas Morse said.

    "The Ministry of Defence has a multi-billion pound budgetary black hole which it is trying to fix with a "save now, pay later' approach," he said.

    The watchdog said defence chiefs were slowing major procurement projects to achieve short-term savings at the cost of greater overall expense.

    A delay in the delivery of two aircraft carriers is forecast to save 450 million pounds over the next four years, but in the long run will cost 674 million pounds more, the NAO said.

    Military spending looks vulnerable as Britain prepares to tackle a record 178 billion pound budget deficit resulting from the global financial crisis.

    Chancellor Alistair Darling has promised to protect key health and education services and has yet to say where he will cut spending to meet his goal of halving the deficit over four years.

    Analysts say the defence budget would have to be cut by as much as 14 percent to match the reductions in other public sector spending that are needed.

    On Monday Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that 150 million pounds of the defence budget would be switched over three years to help counter improvised bombs in Afghanistan that have killed around 80 British soldiers this year.

    Defence officials declined to comment on a Financial Times report on Monday that Brown was set to approve 1.5 billion pounds of reductions over the next three years, including cuts in the Harrier and Tornado fighter jet fleet and the loss of thousands of defence staff jobs.
     

Share This Page