Jim Murphy MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, responding to the publication of the National Audit Office ‘Equipment Plan 2012-2022’, published today, said:
“This report confirms what many feared. Philip Hammond has failed his own test of balancing the MOD books. This supposed ‘mission accomplished’ fact is more like a ‘wishful thinking’ claim.
“After this the MoD Ministers can no longer say that they have balanced the defence budget.
“The Government has not provided a full list of equipment that is accounted for. The financial baseline against which projections are made is unknown. This report covers less than half of defence expenditure. The Government’s claims don’t add up.
“There are now more questions than answers. We welcome any progress, but the NAO report sets future tests Ministers must meet if the reality is ever to match their rhetoric.”