The government’s competence on Defence was already questionable (considering they don’t know basic details about countries we’re sending troops to), but today we’re back in full omnishambles territory.
This morning the Telegraph said that:
The Prime Minister has moved to reassure Armed Forces chiefs by pledging that the Treasury will increase defence spending above inflation from 2015, even as it cuts other Whitehall departments’ budgets.
But the Defence Secretary later told Sky News:
“I think what the Prime Minister was referring to was the pledge that was made – which Treasury ministers have repeated – that the equipment plan, the part of the defence budget which funds equipment, will rise by 1 per cent a year in real-terms after 2015. I don’t expect to be exempt.”
The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing – and the government can’t blame the Lib Dems for this one, as there are no Lib Dem ministers in the Defence team. Labour’s Shadow Defence Minister Kevan Jones said this morning:
“Our Forces deserve honesty. Cameron’s spinning is now unravelling. Our Forces don’t want jam tomorrow and P45s today. They will judge Ministers on their record. More cuts may be made to fund the shaky equipment plan and claims to have balanced the budget are woefully hollow.”