Anneliese Dodds, MP for Oxford East is calling for the government to urgently get a grip on systemic waste in the Ministry of Defence and do better by the 11,747 military personnel and 3,500 families living and working in Oxfordshire after Labour analysis revealed that the Ministry of Defence has blown billions of pounds at the same time as cutting Army numbers and freezing forces pay.
Labour’s “Dossier of Waste in the Ministry of Defence” revealed that the Government has wasted at least £13 billion of taxpayers’ money on 67 officially confirmed cases of MoD waste since 2010.
Labour’s audit examined the extent of waste within the MoD and found that Ministers’ mismanagement at the Ministry of Defence has led to £4.8 billion of taxpayers’ money being handed out for cancelled contracts and £5.6 billion being wasted on overspent projects.
If this wasted public money had been reduced, funding could have been available to strengthen the UK’s Armed Forces and avoid cuts, forced by budget pressures, to troops, planes, ships and vital equipment.
The Government has no grip on spending at the Ministry of Defence. The National Audit Office (NAO) has declared the defence equipment plan “unaffordable” for the last four years in a row, and the Public Accounts Committee said that the Ministry of Defence’s procurement system is “broken and is repeatedly wasting taxpayers’ money”.
Labour’s audit is the first step in fixing the failing system. Labour would make the Ministry of Defence the first department subject to our new Office for Value for Money’s tough spending regime and commission the NAO to conduct an audit of Ministry of Defence waste to tackle systemic waste and secure good value for taxpayers’ money.
Anneliese Dodds, Member of Parliament for Oxford East said:
“The Ministry of Defence has blown billions of pounds at the same time as cutting Army numbers and freezing forces pay.
“Labour’s Dossier confirms that there’s so much waste in MoD budgets and Ministers have got no grip on the problems. This Tory waste is failing frontline forces in Oxfordshire, as well as taxpayers.
“This is clearly unacceptable, but the Government has no serious intent to address these deep-seated problems. Only Labour has a plan to tackle them.”
Commenting on Labour’s “Dossier of Waste in the Ministry of Defence”, Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey said:
“The Ministry of Defence is a uniquely failing department. Labour’s audit confirms at least £13B in taxpayers’ money has been wasted since 2010, with £4B wasted while the present Defence Secretary has been in post.
“Ministers are failing British troops and British taxpayers, and this audit is Labour’s first step in fixing the failing system. We would ensure the Ministry of Defence is the first department subject to our new Office for Value for Money’s new tough spending regime and commission to NAO to get to the bottom of these problems.”