MoD faces further cuts in spending review

Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson. Pictute: LPhot Ioan Roberts

Defence secretary refuses Treasury demands for military cuts

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THE Ministry of Defence faces further cuts to its civilian workforce in the squeezed budget.

Chancellor George Osborne said further savings would have to be achieved through the renegotiation of costly contracts and overhauling the way equipment is procured in order to maintain the 
country’s military capability.

As reported in The News, he also announced the government would use fines levied on the banks in the Libor rate-rigging scandal to fund the Armed Forces Covenant.

The Ministry of Defence’s resource budget will be frozen in cash terms at £23.9bn – a 1.9 per cent cut – while the capital budget will also be held at £8.7bn.

Mr Osborne confirmed there would be no more cuts to the number of uniformed military personnel and the equipment budget would get a one per cent increase from 2015/16.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, one of the last ministers to settle with the Treasury, said the settlement would ensure the armed forces had the resources they 
needed to protect national security.

But Steve Jary, national secretary of the Prospect union representing 6,000 MoD staff, said further cuts to civilian staff would affect military capability.