“We will judge today’s statement not on reheated slogans but on the detail published. Procurement reform is essential, but we have little detail to support grand claims.
“The Government must provide the right balance between flexible force structures, strengthening Alliances and budgetary stability.
“Short term control of defence costs in order to support careful deficit reduction needs to be coupled with long term reform. The Government, however, has been reckless where care was essential and timid when boldness is required.
“The Defence Secretary has said that there will be no more cuts over and above what he’s already announced. This will be of little consolation to the thousands of service personnel yet to be sacked, those facing a £900m cut to allowances and the veterans and war widows whose pensions are being cut year-on-year.
“We welcome additional expenditure on our Forces made in today’s statement, but this largely represents a continuation of important programmes begun by Labour.”
Further questions that Defence Secretary Philip Hammond must answer:
- What is the risk built in to each of the programmes contained in the equipment plan and is this covered by the £8bn contingency?
- What programmes have been delayed or cut to enable today’s announcement?
- When will the Defence Secretary publish the equipment plan and NAO report?
- Will the Defence Secretary break down the claimed “£38bn” and how it has been filled?
- Will the remaining 55% of the defence budget be cut after 2015 to fund the 1% increase?