Defence Cuts - Telegraph 13 May

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Mr_C_Hinecap, May 13, 2004.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Here we go again - but we're starting to hear from the people within the MoD now.......

    Forces face 'ruthless' cuts as MoD seeks to save £1bn
    By Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent
    (Filed: 13/05/2004)

    The Ministry of Defence's most senior civil servant admitted yesterday that the Armed Forces faced major cuts because of Treasury spending restrictions.

    Sir Kevin Tebbit, the MoD's permanent secretary, confirmed last month's disclosures in The Telegraph that 16 MoD committees, known as "work-strands", were looking to save more than £1 billion.

    His admission to the Commons defence select committee came as the First Sea Lord, Adml Sir Alan West, conceded that the Royal Navy would have to lose a number of destroyers and frigates.

    The loss of up to a fifth of the Navy's surface vessels, originally reported in The Telegraph in January, would leave it smaller than the French navy for the first time since the 17th century.

    Confirming that he expected "ruthless" cuts, Adml West said in an interview published yesterday that "there'll be a hit on the destroyer/frigate force".

    "We're trying to fit the programme to the cash we've got," he said. "There are going to be some hard choices and ministers will have to review all the implications, including industrial ones."

    That implied the threat of job losses and Sir Kevin's admissions to MPs were seen as a joint MoD campaign to put pressure on the Treasury to secure a better deal in the July spending round.

    Sir Kevin told the defence committee that, despite the increased demands on the Armed Forces by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Treasury had ordered the MoD to cut its spending over the past year.

    The MoD's overall budget remained unchanged, but he admitted that it was under pressure and he had been told by the Treasury to "constrain those activities which generated a cash spend".

    The combined attack provoked an angry response from the Treasury, which denied that it was forcing the MoD into defence cuts. "Far from cuts, the 2002 spending review is delivering the biggest sustained increase for 20 years," it said.

    But Sir Kevin pre-empted that claim by telling the defence committee that Treasury claims about the improvement in the budget were "more a reflection of how small the increases had been over the years".

    The Treasury also claimed yesterday that it was funding the cost of successive campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Sierra Leone in full. But defence sources pointed out that the fact that the Treasury was referring to the campaign in Kosovo, five years after the event, was a reflection of how hard it was to recoup anything like the real costs of military operations.

    "Tony Blair wants us to do all these things that allow him to strut the world stage and we are very happy to do them," one source said. "Gordon Brown always promises in public that he will fund it all in full.

    "But then he goes through the list of expenditure saying that most of it we would have spent anyway and refuses to pay, not taking into account that we still have to fund all our normal activities as well as fight a war."

    Both the Royal Navy and the RAF are expected to take savage cuts in their strength in order to pay for expensive new projects and in particular the Royal Navy's two new carriers and the RAF's Eurofighter/Typhoon aircraft.

    The "work-strands" have been told that in particular that they must find ways of closing bases. This is because a new Treasury accounting system known as resource account budgeting penalises departments that hold large amounts of land, something the MoD cannot avoid.

    Under proposals put forward by the "work-strands", the RAF would lose all of its 141 Jaguar and Harrier ground attack aircraft, its 39 Puma helicopters and a number of bases.

    The Army would lose 50 Challenger II tanks, 50 Warrior armoured personnel carriers, 120 helicopters and a number of bases.

    But by far the most controversial of the proposals was the suggestion that two Royal Navy aircraft carriers - Illustrious and Invincible - be laid up and only two frigates sold. Adml West is committed to the new carriers and has infuriated some colleagues by his willingness to sacrifice frigates and destroyers.

    Adml West said three Type 42 destroyers and a number of the relatively new Type 23 frigates were likely to be axed. But this was seen as a minimum.

    It is far more likely that unless the carriers are laid up, all four of the Type 42 destroyers will go, along with a significant number of frigates.
  2. Here we go again....... :cry:
  3. same old same old
    but it does make some sort of sense, we can't have it all and expect low taxes.
    leaner meaner fighting machine?
    or just overstretch?
  4. Why not scrap trident, Put nukes (If ever needed against rouge states!) on our Tomahawk, And save about 3 Billion on a weapon system thats never going to be used!
  5. Let's scrap the Regular Army altogether, and bring back the home guard.

    They are very cheap, and bound to please the nice Mr Brown.
  6. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    These cuts are not because we need a leaner armed forces. They're about Brown's inability to manage the economy, his hatred of spending on defence, and New Labour's cynical attempts to win the lefty vote.

    Why is Defence always the target? Why not stop wasting money on ever-increasing numbers of civil servants? Why not manage health and education better so that money isn't wasted as it is now? Why not have an effective policy on immigration that prevents money being wasted on people who shouldn't be here? Why not stop wasting money on public inquiries to appease terrorists? Why not sort out the PC, human rights obsessed legal system, and take real action to cut crime, instead of spending ever more money on social workers and prisons?

    Where are the Very Senior Officers' balls when we need them?

    New Labour - Old Defence Policy
  7. ViroBono, well said sir.

  8. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    Come the revolution my brothers... come the revolution.
  9. What’s the view on scrapping trident or even slashing the nuclear budget? Cold war is over, China is integrating with the global economy and Russia has connections to NATO. Is second-strike capability in this day and age, needed when it is unlikely that any strike on the UK would be of significant size and/or from something that we could actually strike back. Is it worth spending a huge amount of money on what is essentially an outdated prestige weapon.
  10. Bin all of it (apart from of course a couple of nukes to deflect any incoming asteroids) :lol:
  11. This makes me mad! How does the rt hon president blair expect us to carry out ops in afghanistan, iraq, whichever country georgie w decides to 'liberate' next, as well as carry out commitments to nato and the un, plus ongoing ops around britain with an ever decreasing troops and equipment?
    Has this man got ANY common sense? Grrr :evil: :evil:
  12. Viro
    You forgot something from your post. I think it was:

    "Rant Off".


    Oh - those balls referred to are in the hands of the politicians. Being squeezed.
  13. ?? How stupid is that - land is an asset. It accumulates value - so why bloody sell it off - especially as the government then have to go an rent it of the new owners for a considerably larger fee than what was paid out to maintain it previously.

    Idiotic, narrow minded, short sighted f*ckwits.

    Do these prats not realise the damage that this will do to morale and the forces effectiveness to do their job. Do they not realise that the world isn't full of people who "want to Chat" about it!!!!

    This government are more corrupt and inept than any i can remember - everything they touch goes wrong - just look at health and education (the figures are so bad that the government have instructed the national audit committe and NSO to revise the way that they categorise and display their findings to make the government look better than they should - B.A.S.T.A.R.D.S)
  14. Perhaps we should join the Firefighters and go on strike?

  15. Viro, I am no spokesman for this Govt but as far as I know they are spending more than ever before on Defence and Oliver Letwin's plan is to REDUCE defence spending below what the Govt plans are. They are ALL the same.

    People do not like paying taxes & Defence is not cheap. It is a balance and no different from our household matter what I earn I always spend a bit more than I get each month (and blame the wife for it!).