Mar 09. Parliament: Timetable
Both Houses of Parliament are to rise on Thu 2 Apr and to return on Mon 20 Apr 09.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is to deliver the Budget Statement on Wed 22 Apr 09. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/11, 09 Mar 09)
09 Mar 09. UK DRAWDOWN IN IRAQ IMPOSES A SIGNIFICANT
INCREASE ON OPERATIONAL COSTS
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) today seeks from the House of Commons an extra £1.297bn, £802m of which is to cover the costs of current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. This sum is in addition to extra funds sought and received at the time of the Winter Supplementary Estimates in December, which means that the MoD will have sought by the end of the Financial Year an additional £4.517bon to fund operations in both those theatres.
* Just over £1bn will be spent on Urgent Operational Requirements (UORs) in 2008-09 to meet the needs of the rapidly changing tactical situation in theatre.
* A sum of £455m has been allocated to fund the possible costs of drawdown in Iraq: this will cover the potential non-cash costs of depreciation, write-offs and gifting of equipment and other capital assets. This sum represents over half of the additional operational costs in this Estimate.
* Other operational cost increases are due to higher than expected fuel and munitions use and the expense of construction and equipment support at Camp Bastion and Gereshk.
In the non-operational area there have been significant increases in costs associated with resource pressures on Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), impairments reflecting the downturn in market prices for fixed assets in Defence Estates and compensation for the loss of non-operating profits, which are lower than expected. The Report published on the day that the House of Commons will be asked to agree the Government’s Spring Supplementary Estimates recommends that the House approve the MoDâ€™s request for additional resources, given the clear requirement for increased capability and force protection for the UK’s Armed Forces in theatre.
Commenting on the Report, Committee Chairman the Rt Hon James Arbuthnot MP said: “The amount of money requested in this Estimate is considerable, but the quality of information that we are now receiving from the MoD about these costs is greater than it was in the past and makes us more certain that we know exactly where it is going “on munitions, force protection, new equipment and capabilities. The £455 million allocated to cover possible drawdown costs in Iraq in 2008-09 is significant: we are asking the MoD to tell us what additional costs of drawdown will fall in 2009-10. Clearly, at the beginning of the next Financial Year the taxpayer will have a better idea than ever before of what those monies requested during 2009-10 will be expected to cover. Our troops need the money the MoD seeks and we recommend that the House approve the granting of these important extra resources.”
Mar 09. HELICOPTER CAPABILITY
The Defence Committee is today announcing a new inquiry into Helicopter
capability, during which it will examine key issues pertaining to the UK
Armed Forces’ use of helicopters in operations at home and abroad.
The Committee will consider the full range of helicopter capabilities
that the Armed Forces possess now and expect to have in the future. It
will look into the decisions which have either been, or need to be,
taken by the Ministry of Defence in relation to the future of the fleet in the short and medium term.
The Committee will take evidence on the roles being played by current
helicopter deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, as it maintains an
operational focus to its programme of work.
As well as having the physical assets available, the concept of
helicopter capability depends upon human assets: having enough pilots
trained to fly and ground crew to maintain, and if necessary, repair the
The Committee would welcome written evidence fro