Published on 31 Jan 2013

Conflicting reports over future MoD spending

So the MoD budget is not guaranteed protection in the 2015-16 spending round after all – the perils of letting the prime minister conduct his own briefings perhaps?

The MoD budget remains vulnerable in the 2015-16 spending round now under discussion. David Cameron‘s old commitment – that he told journalists on the trip he did not resile from – is that over the course of the years 2015-20 it will rise.

No wonder they were baffled about the reports from Algeria at the MoD. Only last week the Defence Secretary Philip Hammond was at an edgy cabinet meeting kicking off the spending round for 2015-16 and clearly doing his best to defend an MoD budget he knew was not being given special protection for 2015-16. Philip Hammond was amongst those ministers suggesting that the chancellor go looking for deeper savings in the benefits budget instead.

By the way, Theresa Villiers used the occasion to suggest that the Quad, the decision-making apex of the coalition, had too much power to itself. A number of Tories have complained about how key decisions are crunched in those meetings, not least because they feel the Lib Dems (19 per cent of the coalition seats) get disproportionate representation (50 per cent) at the top table.

It’s the first time I’ve heard of a Tory actually raising the matter at the cabinet table. Vince Cable took a passionate stand on his Business Department budget at the same cabinet, I hear. The prime minister is said to have done a passable impression of the headmaster role Private Eye casts him as trying to get everyone round the table to think of the big picture. George Osborne warned his cabinet colleagues that they had to stick to the austerity path and people were watching for the first signs of wobble.

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4 reader comments

  1. Philip Edwards says:

    Gary,

    Ultimately, you can guarantee spending on “defence” will go up. It always does, just as it does in the USA.

    There are many ways of disguising where the money goes. Who can forget years ago in the Pentagon the invoice for a $230 lavatory seat? The US military accounts are packed with similar examples of lying spivvery. You can bet somewhere in the Ministry of “Defence” there is a clerk or two employed solely to prepare false accounts.

    Why do you think the war criminal Blair proposed the reintroduction of nuclear power, now continued by his fellow war criminal(s) CamClegg? In reality those places are deployed to produce nuclear weapons grade triggers – it has nothing to do with energy resources. So much for “defence.”

    The military-industrial complex Eisenhower warned about is now co-ordinated across the West and so is the expenditure. Western invasions and mass murders in the Middle East (and now commencing in Africa) are typical of it.

    “Defence” spending will increase in direct proportion to Western war crimes and invasions. And it will be passed on to tax payers as “public debt.” In other words, the same old story from the same old liars. Only the…

  2. Philip Edwards says:
  3. Andrew Dundas says:

    Philip Edwards,
    You’re correct to mention Eisenhower’s warning about the ‘military-industrial complex’ that he also tried to engage Secretary Khrushchev about as well as Congress. He also defined another doctrine: ‘… a country could request American economic assistance and/or aid from U.S. military forces if it was being threatened by armed aggression from another state’.
    Whilst others have elaborated on Eisenhower’s warning by building the paradigm of ‘regulatory capture’ where overseers of monopolies (national defence is a monopoly service) are deceived by the ambitions of those monopolies. So your point has strong support!
    Maybe what our parliamentary ‘overseers’ should examine is whether the UK should specialise on our military requirements to keep the North Atlantic and Mediteranean free? That would rule out the sorts of ‘power projections’ that force up UK’s requirements for developing the expensive equipment, and that President Eisenhower has warned of.
    As for the Security Council, it’s long overdue for reform and maybe the EU and the Commonwealth should replace the UK and France?

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