MOD Budgets Planners Stuck Up Their own Ar**holes

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by muttley69, Oct 11, 2009.

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  1. What other large scale organisation has hundreds of 'professional' administrators who know where their revenue is coming from, has the ability to accurately forecast its outgoings and yet is incapable of setting out budget to its departments. Our beloved Whitehall MOD of course!!

    My TA unit had its yearly Budget allocated then within this same same Financial year had two rounds of emergency cuts each time requiring a reallocation of priorities and cutback on recruiting and training. Now we hear that all Cat A training is to be suspended (Paid Training).

    Having just recruited this weekend 80 new recruits many of whom have regular army aspirations - we are faced with reneging on our promise of paid training, adventure training opportunities and sport. How many students can afford to give up their time for nothing when they have significant student debt to service. It is the death of my unit and worse will discredit the credibility of the army as a reliable career opportunity.

    I have 20 yrs experience of the TA up to Lt Col level with two Op Tours and another planned. My faith in the system has been sorely eroded by this insane last minute budget cut. It follows years of annual reductions in budget, cut backs in force size, loss of quality of life.

    Those shiny ars*d idiots at the MOD should get a grip of what life is like at unit level, where we have many conscientious, determined quality soldiers ready to go on operations who ask only to be respected and fairly treated within the TA in return.

    Towing the party line on this decision is not an option for anyone with an ounce of moral fibre or a desire to protect the TA as an effective fighting force.
  2. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    I'm impressed that you've had 20 years' experience in the TA, and still don't appear to have a clue about how Government finance operates. For a start, the TA budget is not set in Whitehall, but in Wilton. For the MOD a mere £20M or so is not something to get involved with, I'm afraid.

    Without wishing to bore you with details (or to pick apart some of the 'less factual' comments in your post) herewith Govt Finance 101:

    In the MOD, TLBs (That's Top Level Budgets, such as CJO, Army, RN, RAF, etc) get allocated a budget, and it's usually pretty much up to them how to spend it - given that the vast majority of it will be committed anyway. However on occasion things go wrong - such as when we are involved in a major war, with unforeseen expenditure as a result (the problem here is that although most of the costs are met out of the Reserve, not all are, by a long chalk). There are then many other things that may change in-year - such as the Treasury telling Departments that they aren't getting what they thought they were, as tax receipts have reduced, or because it's now urgently needed to buy votes elsewhere. Or maybe the AFPRB decides to give the Forces a 2% pay increase, when HMT has only allowed enough for a 1% increase (this happen a LOT - and as a result, the proportion of MOD money spent on pay and pensions has increased immensely over the last 20 years, and all the Labour talk of increasing Defence budgets is, in reality, utter crap).

    Whatever the reason, in this case the Army have got too little money to last until next payday, so are saving cash in-year by severely limiting TA training. It's their choice, and I'm sure they didn't do it on a whim - but they probably have no choice. There is nothing else they can do that would save that sort of money in the next 6 months. Almost everything else is accounted for - pay, mostly, of course. You can't stop paying Regs for a few months, or tell them that AT is now C1.... The only other in-year items that they can chop at this late stage are probably fuel and light, Property Maint, and T&S - and all three are already at almost dangerously low levels.

    The underfunding of defence has been known about for a long time - and this is just one of the outcomes.
  3. OS
    Agree it is an Army decision, not taken lightly and defence is broke. However I consider that the MOD and Services have been incompetent at budgeting for years and there is a review (as yet unreleased) that seems to back this up. See Sunday Times eviscerating the practices at Abbey Wood and suggesting the whole sorry affair is put into the private sector.

    In summary the narrow point is that the TA cut may be unavoidable since there is no money. However this state of affairs is due to the headline of this thread.
  4. dry your eyes princess.

    LF need to find £200m in year savings....its got to come from somewhere...

    i'd like to hear your ideas on where you'd make these savings from within the TLB
  5. Thanks for the (somewhat sarcastic) points on the budgets. Being TA does not expose one to these intricacies. It doesn't however change the outcome for the TA whether the decision was made at Wilton or not opposed by Whitehall.

    The savings may be there but as I have seen from other threads may be only part of a wider agenda to downsize the TA.

    My fury and anger is still however directed at the decision makers who came up with this barking idea. Clearly there is no one with the balls in Wilton to oppose the decision and worse no one speaking out in the CoC about the dire state of MOD funding in general.

    Your point about already committed funds is well publicised and leave us like dogs fighting for a morsel of the remaining discretionary budget. It has caused a lot of unseemly infighting within MOD departments, inter service and now between Regular and TA.

    I can only say again how extraordinarily depressing this whole business is.

    How we can speak to our new recruits with a straight face about the future prospects of a military career in the light of broken promises in their first weekend of training?

    This cut will cause unrecoverable damage.
  6. In what way does it affect your quality of life? Are you refering to your second income taking a cut?
  7. To be fair to Mutley - the issue of where the savings come from, and the issue of why this problem apparently couldn't have been predicted until half way through the year, are quite different.

    Perhaps as OS mentioned, HMT has reduced funding part way through the year (although if this is so, I assume we'll hear about it), perhaps unavoidable spend has been higher than expected. However, to introduce 2 separate sets of TA cutbacks, roughly only halfway through the year, doesn't give you too much confidence in their decision making.
  8. You are a LT col and you are on here moaning seems like you ve got pretty poor standards then sir :roll: do shut up and moan somewhere appropriate not in front of the toms
  9. Rank regardless, he has a point and is only voicing what we all are thinking. 8O

  10. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Sorry, my sarcasm was the result of a) too much lunch and b) this area being rather done to death over the last couple of days. Years spent in the Regs, TA and MOD's Finance areas make me a rather bitter and twisted individual sometimes :)

    The facts are that the MOD is grossly underfunded, and has been for ages (since, err, the PM was Chancellor) and this has been especially bad recently as Mr Blair kept on butting in to have us in with join other peoples' wars (Consider - one day, in maybe 20 or 60 or 80 years time, someone will consider what actual good we did in Bosnia and Iraq. I don't think history will be kind, either!).

    LAND need to save money in-year, TA is almost their only choice.

    This reduction could go one of two ways. Firstly, it could turn out to be a bit of a 'Royal Yacht' savings measure or them - the publicity garnered could ensure extra funding (this may be good - but not if it affects the other areas of the Army instead) or secondly - more worryingly - let's say this happens as gossip currently relates, LAND save the cash, and yet TA 'output' in the form of hot bodies for Ops is pretty nearly unaffected. What's the next move? Why, make it permanent, of course, and reduce TACs, permanent Staff, etc. Now that would REALLY save some money, and not just in-year either..............
  11. I thought it quite refreshing to apparently see a LtCol who is prepared to step out into the (relative) open and speak his mind when he and his troops are being shafted. I trust he makes the same points to the chain of command and if need be his MP/the press. I hope that others in his position will do the same, the only thing about the Army that scares labour more than the necessary expenditure is bad publicity and God knows they deserve some for the current debacle.
  12. In simple terms the MoD, alongside all other government departments, is bust.

    The current measures are only in-year stop-gaps to shore up shrinking control totals - next year will almost certainly see the start of some really serious cutbacks, cutbacks likely to endure into the medium term.

    What's going to be cut? Who know's, but if a major equipment programme in the RAF/RN isn't chopped, then the Army will suffer a severe impact - my money is on the TA being virtually disbanded, nearly all armour and heavy artillery being put into baulk and units re-roled accordingly, and recently-introduced luxuries such as MPGS and MGS being eliminated completely.
  13. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Have you been reading the proposed Options? You'll be getting people worried :)