Jim Murphy MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, responding to underspends in the MoD revealed in the budget, said:
“This looks like a hidden cut to defence equipment spending.
“Ministers have left the country with no aircraft to fly from our aircraft carrier for years, sold our Harriers for spare parts and cut back our presence at sea. The country will wonder why at a time of cuts to capabilities Defence Ministers are underspending and Treasury Ministers are refusing to reimburse them in future years.
“This is either incompetence or George Osborne clawing back billions from defence to pay for his failed economic strategy. People will demand an explanation and guarantees that this does not undermine our Armed Forces’ equipment needs.”