A scathing report on the UK Defence Equipment Plan released last week by the Public Accounts Committee provides the subject matter for the #ICAEWchartoftheweek. This follows on from a National Audit Office review of the Ministry of Defence’s plans to spend £186bn on equipment between 2018 and 2028 and the prospect of £7bn to £15bn of overruns.
We looked at this as part of the IFS Green Budget 2018 in a chapter on defence finances. This highlighted how the long-term decline in defence and security spending is at an end as it gets close to the 2.0% minimum NATO commitment, as well as the challenges in improving financial management within the MoD.
As our chapter concluded, the strategic choice for the UK is to match its aspirations for a global military role to the amount it is willing to spend on defence. We are still waiting for the Spending Review to see what the Government decides.
ICAEW on Defence in the IFS Green Budget 2018 – https://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/13493
Public Accounts Committee report on the Defence Equipment Plan – https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/public-accounts-committee/news-parliament-2017/mod-equipment-plan-report-publication-17-19/
National Audit Office report on the Defence Equipment Plan – https://www.nao.org.uk/report/the-equipment-plan-2018-to-2028/