The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has lost £3 billion in the last financial year, according to a new report by the Taxpayers’ Alliance.
The pressure group, which says it’s findings expose the full scale of UK Government inefficiency, revealed that Whitehall departments and in particular the MoD, lost billions of pounds of public money.
In 2013/14 total losses across public spending amounted to more than £5 billion. But of that, some 60% - or more than £3 billion - occurred in the MoD.
Specific items highlighted in the report include £7.2 million spent on developing mobile mine detectors for “Warrior” vehicles that were later deemed unsuitable, and £6 million spent on earplugs that were found to be in adequate.
In addition, £4 million was spent on spares that were no longer needed due to the Sea King helicopter’s early withdrawal from service, and almost £500,000 was lost due to the early retirement of an RAF executive jet used by the Royal Family and HM Government ministers after it was severely damaged in a hailstorm.
Most shockingly of all, a staggering £860 million was spent on what are known as “impairment charges” – assets whose value has plunged, and £347 million that was simply written off in what are termed “unsupported balances”.
£3 billion is a huge amount of money that could have been spent on training, supplies and rehabilitation for Military Accident Injuries. The sheer scale of these losses is astounding.
What is equally baffling is that nobody is being held accountable. We need Ministers to step up and explain where all this money has gone at a time when our frontline services are being financially stretched beyond their means.
These figures show HM Government has some serious questions to answer over its handling of the Defence budget and it is simply astonishing that in an era where thousands of Armed Forces personnel continue to face redundancy and vital equipment continues to be withdrawn, ministers are mismanaging the MoD’s finances in this way.
Coalition austerity cuts have seen the Defence budget fall by 8% and the overall spend on the military drop by around £10 billion.
The reduced budget will see the UK Armed Forces cut by 33,000, including 20,000 regular soldiers, 6,000 sailors and 8,000 RAF personnel.
Zoe Sutton is a Senior Personal Injury Lawyer specialising in Military Personal Injury claims at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK.
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