page_verify wrote: ↑
Sun Nov 22, 2020 4:12 pm
Enobob wrote: ↑
Sun Nov 22, 2020 3:06 pm
RubyRoo wrote: ↑
Thu Nov 19, 2020 3:54 pm
No idea what some of you think you have just read.
None of this new money is being invested in our conventional forces. Nor is it plugging the still rather large black hole in the defence budget.
The RAF, Navy and Army still face severe cuts.
No idea what YOU thought you just heard!
Did you listen to the PM's speech? The speech in which he specifically referred to such conventional weapons as the new Type 32 Frigate, confirmed order quantities of 8 for the Type 26 Frigate and the 5 for the Type 31 Frigate, confirmed the new Solid Support Ships and new multi-role research vessels, confirmed permanent forward basing overseas?
For some reason Enobob, the PM only decided to mention the positive news. The newspapers had a more balanced view:
Defence analysts have welcomed the settlement as more generous than expected. However, given the parlous state of the ministry’s finances, including a funding black hole of up to £13 billion in its current ten-year equipment plan, the money will not plug all the gaps and cuts are expected.
Ben Zaranko, of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the economic research institute, said the prime minister’s presentation of the deal was “misleading”.
He told the BBC that it was better described as £7 billion of new money for the annual defence budget by 2024-25, rather than £16.5 billion.
Military insiders say that the army will lose out in the overhaul, with biting cuts expected for heavy armour programmes, including tanks, and a drop in personnel numbers that could result in fewer than 70,000 regular soldiers.
Well of course he only mentioned positive news, this was only a financial headline around a multi year settlement, with some added Naval detail, mainly around UK shipbuilding, the real meat of the review is to be published in January. Do you honestly think that if the review is ALL bad news then he wouldn't have saved up some, if not all of the good news to sweeten the cuts pill? He is a politician after all. You claimed that none of this extra money would go on conventional forces. I think you are wrong. As to the papers having a "more balanced view," how on earth do the papers know what is going to be in the actual review document? As for saying that it is "only £7b" I am afraid I am at a loss as to how on earth you work that out. It is in fact an increase over the next four years of £24.8 billion, as the increase over and above inflation and the 2% is factored in as well. Under the circumstances this is an astonishing result, many observers expecting a cut in expenditure not the largest increase in decades! Of course some older equipment will go, that is kind of the whole point of a modernisation plan. I think it interesting to see that the actual review document is delayed mainly because the Army modernisation plan as submitted was rejected twice for being "Not radical enough."
I expect we will see some Type 23 Frigates retired early, maybe the Warrior CSP reduced or scrapped, and to be honest the Army deserves all it gets with the chaos and total waste of billions over years on its armour and artillery replacement programmes. Not sure how the RAF will be affected, Puma and Hercules are the rumoured reductions but the MoD has just signed up for a 5 nation medium rotorcraft replacement and the Atlas is not ready to take over all of the Hercules roles yet, and a long term maintenance programme has just been signed for the C-130J fleet, so it will be interesting to see what happens there.
I am not saying that there will not be cuts, as in retiring ageing and obsolete equipment, and maybe a reduction in Infantry numbers, as the Army does not seem to know what to do with all 36 infantry Battalions, only having artillery, Air Defence and other supporting arms for a much smaller number, I was just challenging you on your statement that none of the extra money will go on conventional forces, where I think an awful lot of it will.