As reported in the i on 11th February, Stephanie revealed the armed forces budget faces being slashed by billions due to a “huge” funding black hole as a result of Treasury-enforced increases to pension contributions
Frontline defence spending will be hit by nearly £3bn in the next five years following the Chancellor’s decision to dramatically raise state pension costs.
It comes after the Government’s spending watchdog the National Audit Office warned the Ministry of Defence was overseeing a shortfall of around £7bn in its 10 year plan to adequately equip its personnel.
Commons Library analysis of official figures estimates the pensions burden on the armed forces will rise to £880m in 2021-22 and hit £970m by 2023-24.
The huge shortfall is a result of the government allocating several billion pounds a year too little to cover public sector pension contributions for employers such as the armed forces.
Library experts concluded that “the largest changes to the forecast come from government decisions”.
Labour said the costs will all but wipe out the £1.8bn in additional defence spending Philip Hammond announced in the Autumn Budget over two years.
Stephanie , who secured the details of the pensions increases, said the Government must rethink its plans.
“The Prime Minister tried to tell us that austerity was over, and the Chancellor tried to tell us that he was investing in defence. But once again, the reality just doesn’t match the rhetoric,”
“Our armed services are facing a stealth cuts bombshell that eviscerates the so-called extra funding, and there is no sign that the government will step up, step in, and sort out its own mess.”