Defence budget kept at £33bn

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CPO Martin Owen helps Meon Junior School pupils with their Lego robots. Picture by Malcolm Wells

Navy engineers help students to perfect their Lego robots

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THE country’s defence budget cannot be spared further spending cuts in the future, the Prime Minister has said.

David Cameron said last night the overall budget would be kept at £33bn until the end of the current parliament, but insisted the coalition had to make ‘difficult decisions’.

He said the armed forces would still have some of the best equipment in the world at the end of the process.

Fraught negotiations have been taking place over the next spending settlement, which is due to be unveiled in June.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has already warned further curbs in his department could do lasting damage to military capability.

But in a question and answer session on a visit to Glasgow, Mr Cameron said yesterday: ‘The defence budget is around £33 billion and it is going to be that all the way through this parliament to 2015.

‘But defence cannot be exempted altogether from difficult decisions.’