In a scathing response to the National Audit Office’s (NAO) report on the Equipment Plan 2023, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, John Healey MP, has fiercely criticised the Conservative government’s handling of defence.

Healey described the report as “totally damning,” not mincing words in his condemnation of the Conservative government’s management of defence over the past 13 years.

He pointed out that this mismanagement has led to a “£17 billion blackhole in Britain’s defence plans.”

Responding to the NAO report on the Equipment Plan 2023, Shadow Defence Secretary, John Healey MP, said:

“This is a totally damning report. The NAO does not pull its punches on Conservative mismanagement of defence, which has seen 13 years of failure blow a £17 billion blackhole in Britain’s defence plans. Ministers have lost control of the defence budget, given up on good government, failed to fix the ‘broken’ defence procurement system, sent inflation soaring and wasted billions of public money.

The Conservatives are failing British troops and British taxpayers. Major defence decisions are now delayed until after the next election, and Ministers have no plan to control defence budgets. With war in Europe and a Middle East conflict, this risks leaving our armed forces without the equipment and troops they need to fight and fulfil our NATO obligations. Britain will be better defended under Labour.

A Labour Government will apply a new ‘NATO test’ to major defence programmes to ensure the UK’s NATO commitments are fulfilled in full, make the MOD the first department subject to our new Office for Value for Money and ensure deep procurement reform to cut waste.”

Highlights from the NAO Report

The NAO report itself paints a troubling picture of the MoD’s equipment plan:

  • The MoD estimates the plan is unaffordable, exceeding the available budget by £16.9 billion, marking the largest deficit since its inception in 2012.
  • A potential funding gap ranging between £7.6 billion and £29.8 billion, depending on the materialisation of risks or opportunities.
  • Inflation adding £10.9 billion to programme costs, with no additional funding provided to manage these inflationary pressures.
  • None of the six Top Level Budgets (TLBs) having an affordable equipment plan, predicting overall forecast costs exceeding their budgets.
  • The MoD deferring major decisions about cancelling programmes until after the next Spending Review.
  • Concerns over potential ‘poor value for money’ due to deferred decisions on spending priorities.
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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also previously worked for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago

Oh for BW’s approach of just cutting programs so that there is no a load of waste and the inevitable ‘we have learned a lot’ – so you should for a few £Bn spent…….. That way the money is actually spent on delivering stuff. As for defence procurement being ‘broken’ I think, as far as shipbuilding is concerned, it its now remarkably unbroken. Costs seem to be coming down with competition/pencil sharpening etc. Exports are a run away success story. Let’s see the first T26 and T31 delivered to time without major teething issues. I would single out CAMM, and… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
1 month ago

Hmmm…a yearly accounting exercise to determine what, precisely? Certainly this report does not provide a metric of overall MoD economic efficiency, rather simply that the RN has an extensive requirement to increase and upgrade the fleet and the RFA. Appears patently obvious that RN has its fiscal act together, as demonstrated by the reduced unit cost of Batch 2, T-26 FFG, as well as a low FFP for an entry level GP FFG (T-31). SSN delivery is now apparently on time and w/in budget. That is impressive recent track record, trust me, from the viewpoint of one of Uncle Sugar’s… Read more »

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Militaries always like to overspend and projects do tend to increase in cost unfortunately.
With the chancellors commitment to meeting 2% of gdp we may see more cuts to the budget or more likely under inflation increases.
The nuclear Deterrent seems to account for a lot of the increases. The original budget of £25b for increased to £31b and it seems to say it’s £27b extra will be needed. It’s such massive amounts of money. How can the original budget be so wrong.
The other question is it worth it?

Bulkhead
Bulkhead
1 month ago

Of course they do, it would of never happenend if they were on watch…..😎

Ian
Ian
1 month ago

To “apply a new ‘NATO test’ to major defence programmes” doesn’t actually do anything to ensure that our commitments to NATO are met- it merely provides a new potential excuse to cut programmes by claiming they aren’t sufficiently ‘NATO-ey’. Note the conspicuous absence of any commitment by Healey to actually secure adequate funding for defence.

And if an ‘Office for value for money’ is going to root out inefficient and wasteful practices, should the NHS not be the first target?

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian

Wase, not going anywhere flavor of the day projects cable monitoring ships motherships autonomy. We don’t pay enough attention to the basic needs of the nation a permanent dependency on the americans.saying we’re doing our bit is just playing with figures that can be interpreted in any ways only by having numbers of basic equipment, ships, tanks or Aircraft will show the real truth of the matter. The UK should bin the colossaly expensive projects that eat the budget. We can solve a lot of problems, by having a first dibs agreement with the Americans to have the option to… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

Rich that virtually nothing was actually procured for the army in Labour’s last 13 years at the helm, which has directly led to the mess now army wise as so much needs replacing at once.
I’d feel happier if the Shadow DS stated what Labour will do, beyond pathetic “NATO test” comments and actually commit to something.
Most of our force is committed to NATO.
Til then, it’s all hot air, just like the Tories.

Rfn_Weston
Rfn_Weston
1 month ago

John Healey was my local MP for a long time, and he will make his mouth say anything the spiteful, vile, free loading waste of oxygen.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Rfn_Weston

I really don’t have time for him.

He could have hauled Wallace over the coals several times but singularly failed to do so, waste of space.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

But he was at least personally experienced Healy and his cronies know nothing about the service’s

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
1 month ago
Reply to  Rfn_Weston

Bring back Wallace.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Wallace? The ticktock who said what needed to be said, blowing smoke up people’s hoops?

No thanks.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
1 month ago

Daniele how can you say that ? All those lovely Mastiffs, Ridgebacks, Wolfhounds, Jackals, Cayote and Foxhounds. All were bought as a result of their Policies and many were the result of Emergency Operational Requirements in other words a great cost.
Which to be honest is the underlying reason the Army is now in the plop.
I’d happily hang that round the neck of Blair and his misguided GW2 and Afghanistan wars.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Mate……I can say it very easily as I know the details of the army’s programs and what happened then, not knee jerk UORs! Have a look, not at the UORs, but at the army’s main armoured and artillery programs in that period, 97 to 2010, from Tracer to MRAV to FRES to FRES UV, and the RA programs, and show me what was delivered? Zero. Nothing. All round in circles in 13 years or cancelled. The only planned and delivered army vehicles were 33 Titan, 33 Trojan, and 60 odd Terrier. The very reason the army is now “in the… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago

Here we go in the echo chamber of Defence without context in a changing geo political world.

Question Daniele, did Cons reverse any of those decisions?

Get out of your cave.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

It’s a nice cave! I love how whenever I mention Labour defence cuts you appear. 😉 Don’t be so sensitive. Just agree that they are all as bad. Context? Well in that case the nation was broke in 2010 after 13 years of Labour left no money left. But I don’t use that as an excuse for what the Tories did then, and neither should you for the period 97 to 2010. I don’t do echo chambers David. I remind people what went before, and I’ll continue to do so. Posters have veerrry short or selective memories. So just ignore… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago

Daniele, no, no, no

Where’s the context to those cuts? That is why I’m on your arse, because you omit the context.

Hugs.

My daughter is NOT getting an iPhone for Christmas, she’ll get a camera instead 😉

And some free Northern Soul dance tuition – zero cost 🙂

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Written a big response which is awaiting approval mate.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
1 month ago

Did it have any links attached to other info from other sites of sources ? Another poster suggested that it is AI used by UKDJ to ensure that get sight of any outside info before approval.
Makes sense as they can sense check and make sure they don’t infringe anyone’s copyright or bounce it back to add an attribution to it.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Lots of my own comments and a cut and paste job I’ve done of the many occasions Gabriele Monolini, who not only seems to share my views but has greater knowledge than me, has detailed just what did and did not happen in the period 1997 to 2010. When I quote his lists, which I have done here before, I’ve always attributed them to him. As I’ve said before, many here have extremely short memories. I haven’t. Which is why I’m in fear now. But I take on board your well reasoned reassurances you made elsewhere to me on the… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago

https://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/uk_national_defence_analysis What are you scared of Daniele? I’ve posted a link before that put Defence spending into a geopolitical landscape from the 1990s… You seem to be in your own personal echo chamber at the moment, when in fact you could bring so much information to the site. The debacle of Defence is a Con one – indeed, who freed the shackles of the banks on their lending? The Cons in the 80s and 90s and thus fuelled the banking crises in 2007-8; incidentally, they screwed UK housing, meaning where once 3* earning was relatively equal to the price of… Read more »

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
1 month ago

If you get a moment read my reply to Graham and read the doc I mention, it suggests that your contention is correct. And yep I posted the link to it separately and it went straight in the “Awaiting Approval” bin. The numbers are all there and I know how to interpret budget spends and trends against an event timeline. Labours forays into GW2, Iraq and Afghanistan effectively crucified the MOD Long Term Equipment and R&D budgets. And in 2010 “Call me Dave” swung an axe. And looking at other numbers I don’t think he had much choice.☹️ Nothing to… Read more »

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
1 month ago

Gib is probably the single most strategic bit of land in Europe and has been for over 2 millennia. We are not dealing with the PRC, they are a reasonable democratic country that is also a member of NATO. Other than Gibraltar we actually have a pretty decent squabble free relationship with Spain post Franco. To Spain it is a matter of legal ownership and National pride. Spain also happens to be very dependent on the US for most of its weapons systems and the economic benefit due to hosting the largest Military base in Europe. The EU is going… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

UOR projects are funded by HM Treasury directly from Contingency Reserve, not from MoD funds.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Good Morning Graham. Thanks for that, I was just replying simplistically to Mr Mandelli that equipment had been purchased for the Army during that period, not how it was funded. My background is in Engineering but towards the end of my career I spent most of my time staring at spreadsheets and production processes to find ways to make item A to a very specialised spec without it costing some absurdly high amount of money. Numbers tell story’s and although they can usually be fudged the budgets don’t lie. I will post a link separately but as they tend to… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Thanks Rodney. I was an Engineer too, both in the army and later in civvy street. Certainly operational costs of operational deployments are high, especially for warfighting and for prolonged operations. HM Treasury covers these additional costs and the costs of UOR equipment – not the existing pre-conflict MoD budget. The MoD Equipment Plan is always only ever for funding Core (ie mainstream kit) not UOR kit. It will always fluctuate up and down on an annual basis, irrespective of Operations, for a number of reasons. I had not noticed that the R&D budget went down – I wonder why… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Thanks. Some good bedtime reading! Interesting that my old area, Equipment Support, consumed 19.6% of the budget.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Only if they took them onto their books after use… did they?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

Some UOR kit was ‘taken into Core’ ie kept. Some wasn’t.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Great discussion on such an important subject. Many thanks.

Last edited 1 month ago by Graham Moore
Peter S
Peter S
1 month ago

Has this idiot read and understood the NAO report? It doesn’t seem so.
Many of the recent budget problems arose from Blairs love of intervention and. Browns unwillingness to fund it.
I have little time for this government, but they have increased funding and committed to make good many of the deficiencies created by years of neglect under New Labour.

Marked
Marked
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S

They haven’t increased funding! They moved trident into the core mod budget so they can hoodwink the gullible into believing they continue to commit as much as we previously spent and brag about meeting the nato 2% target. In real terms they have cut spending.

Last edited 1 month ago by Marked
Andrew
Andrew
1 month ago
Reply to  Marked

Well said…. The sneaky shift of the nuclear deterrent costs from treasury into the main defence budget, is as far as I am concerned the main reason we are in so much difficulty now.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
1 month ago
Reply to  Marked

Trident is Defence so to me it makes sense to be there and it is ring fenced. If you are dealing with RN and Treasury Civil Servants, trust me you want the end user in charge of the purse strings. ”Why do you need to use this very expensive special type of steel for this bit of pipe rather than the cheaper version elsewhere, it’s only a water pipe”. Answer “Because it will stay safe despite being bombarded by Neutrons for 30 years”. Blank look ! But I actually think there is a far simpler way to sort out MOD… Read more »

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
1 month ago

Where does it say “Labour will fix these problems”. Bloody politicians, useless, all of them.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

I concur Geoff, idiots, the lot….

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

👍

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Have you got a job paying a minimum of £84ish K + expenses per year? Not many idiots capable of that; as I know to my cost both Cons and Labs have sophistry down to a t.

Mentioning no names Michelle Scrogham.

Mike
Mike
1 month ago

The fundamental truth is no political party or Government has been honest with tax payers or the military since the mid 1960’s. The procurement program has been broken for generations and not helped by senior officers asking for big and expensive systems without having a clue as to real cost and then changing specs during design. This coupled with all Governments inability to manage budgets and not taking the right decisions at the right time, cut corners by giving long contracts to reduce cost makes long term budget control impossible . Until these simple management tools are resolved all that… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

Many Defence projects run for 10 years before equipment is fielded. In that time, the threat changes, technology changes, materials science changes, suppliers go bust. It would be mad not to change the spec if these things happen.
The Ajax spec was apparently only substantially changed once.

Tom
Tom
1 month ago

It’s one thing to lambast and lament the destruction metered out upon the Armed Forces, by the conservative swine party, as long as you make sure you have a viable plan to correct this mess!

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Tom

Which we don’t.

Scaadoo
Scaadoo
1 month ago

Luckily £25bn has been found for tax cuts so all is well

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Scaadoo

It’s outrageous having tax cuts which all reviews I’ve seen say they are unfunded. The deficit is huge, the government still spend more than they make, Ukraine needs a massive increase in equipment. That cash could have been put to U.K. produced products, lowering costs for the U.K purchases and the money being reinvested in the uk. Instead £25b tax cut which is near enough £1000 for every working person won’t be handed out like that. £24b of it will go to people that won’t increase there spending so won’t increase jobs etc. to stimulate local economies give money to… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago

Same old same old. What seems blindingly obvious to me is we can’t afford to have armed forces this small. Either we build up to withstand the global threats to our freedoms or learn to speak Chinese.

Geoffi
Geoffi
1 month ago

Clearing out the Snivel Servants in Procurement at the MOD is a first but crucial step on the road to clearing this mess up once-and-for-all.

Tom
Tom
1 month ago

With so many failings, shortcomings shortages and general lacks of, its time for the UK to stop… and have a serious, sensible, HONEST think about just how fubar our Armed Forces have become, due to chronic lack of funding, over the past 13 years. The only option the UK has for the next few years at least, is to – Stop sending ships to far flung places. Stop sending 50 people to ‘imbed’ with other militaries… in far flung places. Stop allowing contractors to promise all kinds of singing and dancing kit, at huge expense. Stop with the costly and… Read more »

Paul Bestwick
Paul Bestwick
1 month ago
Reply to  Tom

So which far flung places? The Falklands are 8,000 miles away, sounds like a long way away to me. You wouldn’t send a T-45 to the Red Sea even though UK flagged ships have been targeted? Please understand you will make the RN’s retention and recruitment much harder if ships are restricted to the North Sea/North Atlantic. No imbed with other militaries, does that include the UK test pilots embedded with the US military in California for the F-35 programme? Having read the NAO summary I don’t see much on the list of unfunded or partially funded projects that could… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul Bestwick

The NHS budget is the elephant in the room; the bureaucracy is immense and the number of Trusts is mind numbing. Labour have admitted that a scalpel needs taking to the NHS, and it needs to happen. Outside Whitehaven Infirmary you will see patients smoking, outside the Cumberland, the Cook, Newcastle Freeman, people smoking, why? Patient records not linked because we have no common identifier across the UK, why not? We have NI numbers? Tax numbers? But can not create a common identifier but will fund sex conversion therapy??? Why? The NHS does not need a scalpel, it needs an… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

I agree, David. I’d not heard they were stating they’d do that, so if so, good.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

What are you talking about? There is a common numerical identifier. It is called your NHS number. Everyone has one.
Agree about the number of trusts and huge numbers of tiers of administrators in post within the NHS. I know for a fact around 75K highly paid middle and top tier managerial posts could be shed saving approx £4.5 billion a year from the NHS budget without negatively affecting clinical care in the least little bit. In fact it would benefit clinicians to have less overbearing managers distracting them from undertaking their work.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

There may well be but there is not a common database of patients’ records linked to that database.

My mother-in-law has just had emergency heart surgery, as a foreign national it has cost £44,000, however, it took several weeks to generate the… invoices, there is something wrong when invoices (yep, plural) take several weeks to generate, would you not agree?

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

We need

One police force
One gendarmerie taking in BTP, MoDplod, CNC and Milpol
One Fire Brigade
One Ambulance Service as part of the NHS
One NHS, amalgamation of all the… ‘trusts.’
Nationalised rail, gas, water, and electric.

That would save billions.

Tom
Tom
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

To be fair, I can attest to the fact that the NHS has my personal records in Kent, however when I was visiting family in Manchester, they did not have the ability to see my medical records when I visited Manchester Royal Infirmary A&E Dept.

Sooty
Sooty
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

Abolute heresy! How dare you criticise the NHS?! It would take a brave politician to tackle reforming it. As soon as they started the Opposition (of whatever colour) would start wailing about how awful it is for someone to be attacking the NHS. Unfortunately we have created an unstoppable monster. Any attempt at reform would be political suicide.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Sooty

There’s a queue for sarcasm, join it at the back 😉

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

I heard recently that Health & Social Care is heading towards consuming 45% of budgeted government expenditure. (It was 28% some 12-13 years ago).

Tom
Tom
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul Bestwick

Well for starters, the UK has no business sending ships to the Pacific.

Paul Bestwick
Paul Bestwick
1 month ago
Reply to  Tom

So we abandon Pitcairn and those that live there ? If your argument is they are not worth the cost. Then do we follow with Diego Garcia ? Tristan Da Cuna ? Ascension ? Also we are a P5 member at the UN, with that comes expectation and responsibility. Part of the business in the Pacific is helping enforce UN imposed sanctions on North Korea. I take it you are not a big fan of the Commonwealth as the two OPVs in the Pacific support the disparate members of the Commonwealth in Oceania.

Tom
Tom
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul Bestwick

Well Mr Bestwick… We have a £17Bn shortfall, so stuff Pitcairn Island! Diego Garcia is an entirely different matter, with huge Intelligence and geopolitical implications to that region, and the West in particular. Others can impose sanctions in the far east. The UK are way too overstretched as it is. The Falklands is an entirely different matter, with huge Intelligence and geopolitical implications to the south Atlantic region, not to mention it pisses the Argentinians off bigtime. You take it I am “Not a big fan of the commonwealth” a/ Assumption is the mother of all… balls ups. b/ The… Read more »

Paul Bestwick
Paul Bestwick
1 month ago
Reply to  Tom

Errr it has a projected deficit over 10 years. The equipment side of the budget is projected to be greater than 49% of the total. If you have not already read the report and tell what on the list we don’t need. Remember there are NO magic bullets for this issue only messy and not well thought through compromises.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Tom

What he wrote.

klonkie
klonkie
1 month ago

Greetings George and Folks. Please bookmark this piece in a safe place. If Labour win the next the election, re-visit this piece when they publish their defence review. Almost certainly we will see cuts applied.

George at said juncture, please challenge John Healy with a “please explain” referencing this article.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  klonkie

I have before on his Twitter account. Needless to say, silence. I’d confidently suggest he knows very little on defence like all the bloody rest of them.

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago

good for you DM!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago

Daniele, I understand your major beef with Healey is that he does not commit now to increasing defence expenditure if Labour wins the next GE. All Labour politicians are refusing to commit to expenditure or policy until they write their pre-GE manifesto. Annoying but that is usual.

Any other reason you dislike Healey? He is making fair efforts to master his brief – I am sure he knows, unlike Schapps, that the RN operate aircraft carriers, not the RAF and that the crew of a tank is 4 men, not 6!

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Because he could have ripped Wallace to shreds in the House, but, did not.

Waste of oxygen, water and rations.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
1 month ago

Let’s hope this is a positive sign of a proper government commitment to Defence under Labour.
However I expect it is just point scoring.
Defence of the realm is the first duty of a government and there is lifelong having a good health service, education etc if the country is vulnerable to attack.

Alabama Boy
Alabama Boy
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Labour is not interested in Defence appart from scoring points over the current Government. They certainly will not ‘invest’ more in Defence at the expense of the NHS, Care system or education. They will conduct yet another review and because thee is no new monies decide that cuts will be needed. The talk of the NATO test will essentially mean nothing East of Suez so the Carriers will be under threat as you don’t need them in the Atlantic, Med or North Sea. ASW frigates will return to top of the priotites. RAF will stand still with admissions that we… Read more »

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall
1 month ago

Sadly, the only certainty is that whichever party is in government after the 2024 general election, IR2025 will include substantial defence cuts. Promises of more money for defence when “economically affordable” are non-sensical, the NHS monster will continue to suck in any spare pennies until the USA is at war with China and Russia starts building artificial islands on the Dogger Bank.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
1 month ago

I don’t think we will see cuts from labour. The budget does need sorted but there isn’t much on the list that can be cut. Where they can get money from in the economy is another matter. The NHS will be a priority but not purely a financial one. Do services need to be scaled back? Should some things no longer be provided free. Where is massive budget going and what is a reasonable expectation people require from the NHS. Should expensive care for old people that aren’t far from death be given free. Should they have an option to… Read more »

Micki
Micki
1 month ago

If more cuts are coming so the best is to sell all the equipment , retire all soldiers and to leave Britáin like Costa Rica a country without Armed forces because step by step we,re going to this from the 90,s, better to make it faster.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago

Let’s hope Labour will walk their talk if they ever get into office!

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

They will walk the walk.

They’ll cut programmes in line with their NATO test – we don’t need

QEC in the South China Sea
Just to run away and flee.
When faced by a Chinese fleet
The RN beat retreat.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago

In the discussion one thing is missing from contributors: inflation.

This pathetic Con Govt destroyed our inflation rate, literally overnight.

When you read what inflation has done to the costs of Defence ii is astonishing.

That is at the door of the Cons, especially Truss.

Did I mention Brexit?

BobA
BobA
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

David, I’m not defending the current government, but our inflation is not isolated to the UK. Every single western economy has been under double digit inflation this year – the UK despite being the sixth largest economy in the world is not big enough for government policy to cause inflation like that. The Truss budget temporarily raised the cost of borrowing, it didn’t drive inflation. The rapid rise in inflation happened to coincide with the budget which is an easy win for Labour, but it ignores the actual global inflationary drivers. Inflation in the US has driven the cost of… Read more »

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
1 month ago
Reply to  BobA

The reason inflation has had such a massive effect on the U.K. is because of how our National debt is structured and we added @£400 billion to it due to Covid, Lockdown and Energy subsidies. Some Muppet years ago realised that as our inflation rate was pretty well nailed at @2% offering Government Bonds at RPI +1.5% was very attractive and made it easier to borrow. Every other Muppet since then did the same thing until 2022 at which point it rocketed. In the year 22/23 our interest payments went up from @£30 billion pa previously to £143 billion pa.… Read more »

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

David I would post a link to some stats to you but if I do it will get bounced to awaiting approval. So as I folks who are passionate about their beliefs but are open minded I’ll just type it out. Have a look and then get back to me about what you think. It’s a compare between U.K., EU and other major countries, it’s interesting.

http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN02794/SN02794.pdf

I just hope this works.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

Posted you a reply with stats unfortunately it got bombed to awaiting approval.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Cheers buddy.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
1 month ago

Well I suppose someone has to go against the general it’s such and such’s fault and annoy an awful lot of people who read UKDJ. At present the U.K. National debt is roughly £2,400 billion (£2.4 Trillion) or 100.3% of GDP. So we are skint, being heavily taxed, have little inward investment and have zero growth. The Ministers, Politicians of all Parties, Civil Servants and all public services (including the armed Forces) probably have little or no interest in actually doing fundamental changes on how to deal with that. Because all of them are in a different position to the… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by ABCRodney
Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

The elephant in the room isn’t the total national debt and servicing it. It is the lack of growth. How do you grow an economy and achieve productivity gains? Infrastructure. We have to invest invest invest in the UK and have 10-15 years of national renewal. In fact I’d say it goes further and deeper, we probably need 25+ years of continuous hard sustained infrastructure investment. Fix the broken schools, roads, rail systems. Build new power stations, reservoirs, energy storage facilities. Invest in British ingenuity and inventiveness to get us out of a malaise set in by consumerism and market… Read more »

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

I actually don’t think you understand that the second you go over 100% of GDP and you are spending over 14% of that GDP in debt payments there is no Money left. So the only way to raise investment funds is to either raise Taxes or Cut something to pay for it. At a couple of points we were actually borrowing more money to pay the interest. But due to our countries Debt is structured (and we are in a uniquely bad place) the majority of our debts are linked to being paid at a % above the rate of… Read more »

Simon
Simon
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

anyone in the civil service sine 2015, now has to take there pensions at 67and has to pay in between 5 and 14.5% . I would add military pensions. non contributions and un-funded !!!

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
1 month ago
Reply to  Simon

I’m only commenting on the available (though very well hidden) Govt Stats and saying it needs addressing as that oa Liability is scary monster time. And I referred to public servants not Civil Servants so it includes local Government and all the hidden ones as well such as deferred Post Office or RM.
I’m no bleeding heart but the entire country got the 67 Jack up regardless and it should be fair and even handed.

Simon
Simon
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Not totally sure that all company pensions have moved to 67. Mine ( subject to market forces type) still says 65. Royal Mail pre 2012 pensions are still under government management as no one would have purchased Royal Mail and take on the liability

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
1 month ago
Reply to  Simon

Yep that is correct but that is based on company pensions, I myself seem to have minuscule one from RM (I worked in RM for 2 years as a teenager). Completely forgot about till a letter arrived from the Cabinet Office, it kicked in at 60 and can’t be deferred. It buys 4 Beers per month ! After that I worked for just 1 employer and we changed the Pension provider about 25 years ago. Old bit was deferred but kicks in at 65, and newer one 67. But IMHO all ongoing Publicly funded (even partially funded) should be aligned… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Simon

For a civilian/civil servant. The State Pension used to be paid at age 65 as this was when your salaried work ended. You would get your company pension and State Pension when you retired at 65. Seemed to make sense.

Soldiers (all but a few) have to leave the army by age 40. You want them to wait 27 years to pick up their army pension?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago

If they can point out the budget shortfalls so easily against the actual current budget maybe they should be asking why and also check if their own budget owexpectations and presumptions are correct in the first place?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago

I have some time for Healey, but some of his comments are adrift. There has been some/much mismanagement of procurement but it is wrong to lay all the blame for the black hole at the door of Tory Government mismanagement. Much procurement activity is managed by serving personnel and civil servants, not just politicians in government – some blame should lie there, but a politician would not wish to say that. He does not state that funding shortfall is a factor. Because of an Equipment Plan black hole does that really mean that Government has lost control of its budget?… Read more »

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
1 month ago

Labour slams this labour slams that.the constant negative politics from the victor meldrew party is a joke, whatever it your politics an opposition th never ventures alternate ideas doesn’t inspire hope that things can change for the better l