Cabinet split over £15bn proposed defence cuts

#1
TREASON?

Proposals to slice up to £15bn from the defence budget over the next decade have been drawn up by the Treasury, provoking bitter rows within Whitehall and the cabinet at a time when the military are under enormous pressure to meet commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The rift has caused the Ministry of Defence to postpone publication of the latest 10-year industrial strategy on Thursday week because ministers admit current negotiations are ongoing and no agreement has been reached.

Though overall spending on defence is due to rise from £34.1bn next year to £36.9bn in 2010, sources close to the ministry say that prior commitments to Trident and two new aircraft carriers mean deep cuts are being drawn up in other areas between now and 2017. These include:

· Cutting the number of new Astute nuclear powered submarines to be built at Barrow from eight to as few as four

· Cancelling orders for the seventh and eighth Type 45 frigate at Portsmouth or diverting the ships from the Royal Navy by selling them to the Malaysian navy

· Scrapping the third tranche of Eurofighters if BAE Systems can be persuaded to waive cancellation charges in return for the government diverting the order to Saudi Arabia

· Postponing an order for 3,000 new armoured vehicles to be built in Newcastle to replace ageing Land Rovers which are vulnerable to roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to the sources, the dispute over the future of long-term funding for the armed forces has divided cabinet ministers and also led to splits between two of the top civil servants in the ministry - Bill Jeffrey, the permanent secretary, and Trevor Woolley, the finance director, and the military chiefs.

John Hutton, the business secretary, is said to back the need to retain the orders - his own constituents in Barrow could lose jobs if the submarine order is cut - while David Miliband, the foreign secretary, is not so sure all the orders are needed.

Shriti Vedera, a junior minister in the Department for International Development, but one of Gordon Brown's most influential advisers, is also said to be insisting that the Treasury push through more (Defence) savings.
in full

http://www.guardian.co.uk/military/story/0,,2221531,00.html
 
#2
Good for John Hutton, the 'business secretary', but he seems to be guided by his constituancy rather than anything else.
What the fuk would Milliband know about military requirements? He is not old enough to shave yet is he?
Edited to add outrage and a cautious pinch of salt.
 
#3
How can anyone push for Defence Savings in the current climate? Everyone knows that means cuts, and you simply cannot cut the current level of funding further. The forces need more funding to achieve the current governments aims, not less.

The government needs to realise that the only reason we are embroiled in Afghan/Iraq now is because of Labour, and so they have to face facts and maintain the military properly.

(Ten years of Labour rule = Five conflicts of varying intensities)
 
#4
gobment type #1

I tell you what, why don't we cancel orders for all the long lead time items, so WHEN (not if ) it really kicks off next time, we are well and truly F***ed.

gobment type #2

Hey, I like your thinking.

Why do we need all these boats, it's not like were an island nation with dependant territories and commitments around the globe is it?

And all these plane things, It's not like we are desperately short of CAS assets for our current commitments! And it's not like russia, china, india .... are increasing their military capabilities!

And these land vehicles, since when have wee needed more protection than a standard landrover?
---------

Somebody (not sven) tell me this is a bad joke!

Ski.
 
#5
"The UK is the highest per capita spender on defence among its European allies, and Brown has said he is putting "more money than ever before" into the defence budget."

Possibly something to do with our level of commitment around the world?

Likewise to suggest that this Government has a strategy, nevermind a 10 year strategy, is ludicrous.

Anyway when can I apply for the next tranche of redundancy that is no doubt on it's way?

Jockster
 
#6
I'd love to see where they think they can cut 15 billion from. Still, it won't matter with labour only having about 2 years left, so will have no influence for another 20 years.

The Conservatives could do well to trumpet Defence at the moment and show clear blue water between them and labour. Worked for Maggie in the 80's.
 
#7
Jockster915 said:
"The UK is the highest per capita spender on defence among its European allies, and Brown has said he is putting "more money than ever before" into the defence budget."

Possibly something to do with our level of commitment around the world?

Likewise to suggest that this Government has a strategy, nevermind a 10 year strategy, is ludicrous.

Anyway when can I apply for the next tranche of redundancy that is no doubt on it's way?

Jockster
my bold above.

Now thats a statement of fact that deserves repeating!

Ski.
 
#8
The gobment have to get the £26+ billion back that they have 'loaned' Northern Rock somehow.
 
#9
GordonBrown said:
The gobment have to get the £26+ billion back that they have 'loaned' Northern Rock somehow.
Or pull out of the EU and save money that way.
 
#11
armchair_jihad said:
Shriti Vedera, a junior minister in the Department for International Development, but one of Gordon Brown's most influential advisers, is also said to be insisting that the Treasury push through more (Defence) savings.
Never heard of her - I had to google her name to find out who she was.

Unsurprisingly she knows nothing about defence.

'That’s Shriti Vadera — Gordon’s representative on earth’
 
#12
ok save the cash pull out of Iraq Afghanistan hand the falklands and antarctic over :twisted:

no don't want to then its costs
 
#13
This is the same DFID that has carried out hearts and minds operations by berating Afghan tribal leaders over their appalling record on gender equality and their reluctance to embrace inclusivity, one assumes....

I like the '...if BAE systems can be persuaded to waive cancellation charges.' I look forward to hearing reports of this alongside those about Satan calling in British Gas to deal with the heating problem that's left Hell looking somewhat icebound.
 
#15
GordonBrown said:
The gobment have to get the £26+ billion back that they have 'loaned' Northern Rock somehow.
I'm sure they can ask Wendy Alexander, Harriet Harmen, Peter Hain etc to ask their anonymous donors to help out! :x

This Government is a shower of complete and utter wa*&%rs who don't give a damn about the defence of this country but only the defence of their own worthless skins. How GB can have the gall to write about the courage of service personnel while at the same time presiding over the strangulation of all 3 services shows just what a sham his "integrity" is.

Rant over!
 
#16
Stonker said:
Hit back:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Increase Defence spending to 5% of GDP per annum for the next 10 years. More details

Submitted by Martin Cakebread of na – Deadline to sign up by: 28 November 2008 – Signatures: 188

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/supportforces/
I just found this, (courtesy of The Times).

200 signatures, and - apparently - PM's office has to reply.
You've got the right idea stonker, but I don't think a petition will achieve anything at all.

Ministers don't even get reports of what's on the petition web site, let alone what level of support each one enjoys. The reply from the PM's office will be composed by a spotty intern on a gap year from her PPE course at Oxford.

A better idea might be to look in to legal action against the government or, ideally, individual ministers. If a business cut expenditure to the point where its staff were being killed because their equipment was unsafe, the directors' feet would not touch the ground on the way to a corporate manslaughter charge.

From inadequate snatch landrovers to exploding, 35 year old Nimrods and Puma helicopters that fall out of the sky, personal injury & human rights lawyers would be having a field day if the government was a private company.

A good start might be a whip round to raise enough cash to get a legal opinion from a suitably experienced QC. Given the government's track record, could ministers or the government as a whole be prosecuted for corporate manslaughter? Failing that, could they be sued in a civil court?

I'm sure the thought of ruinous legal bills and a possible jail sentence would make Swiss and Gordon think twice about further cuts.
 
#17
Don't forget that along with any cuts in the Defence Budget, you also have to take the cost of the Trident replacement from the same budget for the next 20-30 years.
Who needs pay rises, descent accommodation and quality of life for service personnel and there families when you have a multi-billion pound missile system that will never be used.
 
#18
The government has an ideal situation with the Armed Forces.

They know that the personnel can't go on strike.

The headshed are limited as to what they can say in public, even though Dannatt has put pressure on them in the past.

And even if droves of soldiers are leaving, there are ways around it. For instance, recruiting campaigns in the former colonies.
 
#19
They could save a few million by canning the 3000 odd bone publications printed on nice expensive glossy paper that get delivered to our crew bar every week. Realistically does anyone want to hear how good a job our snivel servants are doing, or more appropriate, does anyone believe it?

While we are at it lets get rid of half the maintenance contracts for bases across GB. The military is full of tradesmen, let us fix the problems. I'm pretty sure that between on site knowledge and a bit of help from the RE 90% of work services could be fixed in hours for a fraction of the cost.
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top