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UK media and opposition claim spending on Falklands’ defense is to fall

Sunday, March 25th 2012 - 08:11 UTC
Full article 61 comments
Shadow Defense Secretary Murphy shocked that funding for the Falklands is failing at such a crucial time Shadow Defense Secretary Murphy shocked that funding for the Falklands is failing at such a crucial time

The amount spent to protect the Falkland Islands is to fall according to reports in the British media however the Ministry of Defense attributes the changes to ‘accounting policy’ and insists it has the capacity to repel any Argentine aggression of the Islands.

Nevertheless the move will raise concerns as the 30th anniversary of the South Atlantic conflict when Argentine forces invaded the Falklands, approaches on April 2.

More than 1.000 troops and four RAF Typhoon jets are based in the Islands at the Mount Pleasant complex as well as several Royal Navy vessels patrol the area.

The UK Ministry of Defense spending of £64million in the South Atlantic will fall to £61million in the coming financial year and it will then rise to £63million in 2013-14.

The MoD said the fall was due to accounting changes to its Falklands budget, omitting such costs as pay, military equipment and repairs. Britain’s budget for defending the Falklands really plummeted from £143million in 2005-06 to £69million in 2010-11.

“The figures up to 2015 reflect a change in accounting systems that do not show the full expenditure but also include limited back–office efficiency savings that make no difference to our military presence, which remains unchanged”, said a MoD spokesperson.

But shadow Defense Secretary Jim Murphy is shocked that funding for the Falklands is failing at such a crucial time: “it is extraordinary that funding for the Falklands is falling at the current time”.

‘Ministers have to explain how their comments about the strength of our Armed Forces in the Falklands can be matched with the cuts they are making on David Cameron’s watch. We need clarity on how much has been spent since May 2010.

‘Savings have to be made in the defense budget. But our commitment to the Falklands is non-negotiable and ministers must explain themselves fully and properly.’

Former commanders warned that the apparent slump in defense spending on the Falklands would encourage Argentina to raise the pressure over its claim to the Islands.

Buenos Aires called Prince William’s posting as an RAF search-and-rescue pilot and the deployment of HMS Dauntless, one of the Royal Navy’s most powerful warships, to the South Atlantic as ‘provocative’.

Last month Argentina officially complained to the United Nations about the UK’s ‘militarization’ of the Falklands - a claim described as ‘absurd’ by Britain. Argentine president Cristina Fernandez has also spearheaded a campaign to encourage South American countries to block Falklands’ ships from entering their ports.

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  • Teaboy2

    There is nothing here for the islanders to be worried about, the amount of active Soldiers, airmen and ground crews along with navy ships and ships personnel are unchanged same with equipment used for defense and everyday maintence and running of the base. All that has changed is imporved efficiency methods. Which basically means the day to day office and base runnings have been made more efficient and less costly, as such the cost of maintaining the day to day runnings have decreased. That is all the the drop in cost of defending the islands thats being reported here actually is. There is no change to britians commitment to defend the islands.

    Mar 25th, 2012 - 09:25 am 0

    I,m an accountant.Trust me ! The government is only fiddling the figures for PR purposes. The reality stays the same.Saving £3 million out of £43.5 billion is neither here nor there.The real problem is in defence procurement ;an area I know quite well,having worked there for over 14 years.
    The MOD is quite capable of buying a 45p tin of baked beans (or even cheaper at Lidl) for £10 and thinking they have a bargain.If the Israelis were running the British defence budget they could quite easily cut it in half and end up with more effective forces. The aircraft carrier debacle is only too typical of the British MOD.

    Mar 25th, 2012 - 09:28 am 0
  • GreekYoghurt

    @2 I agree. Defence procurement is complete shambles and a black-hole into which people just pour money. The replacement for the clansman radio took years and years to procure, costing more money than I could care to imagine. For a long period of time Soldiers were resorting to using personal mobile phones to communicate. Then along came the Bowman... “Better Off With a Map and A Nokia”.

    It's just depressing to think about how much money is wasted on buying stuff for the military when your typical civvy is using equipment that is hundreds of times more secure and 10 times more reliable.

    Mar 25th, 2012 - 09:37 am 0
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