Magazine article Public Finance

Rushed Defence Cuts Could Harm Reforms, Say MPs

Magazine article Public Finance

Rushed Defence Cuts Could Harm Reforms, Say MPs

Article excerpt

Imposing severe cuts on defence spending Immediately after the election risks derailing military reform, MPs have warned.

In a report published on February 10, the Commons defence select committee said the next government would 'have to accept the financial realities of the day' but avoid 'an early stringency budget' that might prejudge the outcome of a strategic defence review.

Labour and the Conservatives have promised a strategic review soon after the election, with a view to pu bushing it by the end of the year. Both parties have indicated that the defence budget is likely to suffer significant cuts in the coming years as a result of pressure on the public finances.

Defence committee chair James Arbuthnot said: 'It is easy to lose sight of the fact that one of the core businesses of government Is the defence of the country and of national interests, and that is every bit as true during difficult financial times as during more settled ones. …

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