In response to news that the MoD will face further cuts following the Autumn Statement, Jim Murphy said:
“The Defence Secretary claimed to have balanced the budget earlier this year but already there are potential cuts to apache helicopters and the MoD.
“The Government has questions to answer, for example whether this is eating in to planned contingency in the equipment budget and what capacity is being lost from the MoD to fund this cut.
“An underspend could be spent on restoring welfare to our Forces and their families but instead it is going on further cuts as part of a failing strategy.”
Questions the Government has to answer:
- Is this cut being made in the contingency built in to the equipment programme?
- If the cut is being made to the MoD and if so what capacity and skills are being lost?
- Will there be further civil servant redundancies as a result of this move?
- What is the total Departmental underspend and how much is being used to fund this cut?
- Will this impact on the planned equipment programme post 2014/15?
- Are any items being removed from the ‘White Board’ to fund this move?
- Guarantees are given about manpower and two years of the equipment programme, but can the Defence Secretary do the same over welfare and housing?