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Armed Forces: Defence Budget

Asked by Lord West of Spithead: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what are the 10 programmes from which the largest share of the forecast Ministry of Defence underspend for 2012-13 have emerged.[HL6428]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): Our forecast underspend in 2012-13 reflects three factors. First, we did not need to draw on our departmental unallocated provision, a sum prudently set aside as a provision against the risk of unforeseen events increasing the pressure on the defence budget. Secondly, as our plans on delivering commitments made in the Strategic Defence and Security Review have matured, we have reported expenditure between years to reflect our better understanding of when costs will be incurred. Thirdly, we have spent less in some areas than originally planned, for example as a result of efficiencies and successful commercial negotiations.

Asked by Lord West of Spithead: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether any Ministry of Defence underspend in the financial year 2012-13 will be rolled forward in total to be used in the Ministry of Defence during 2013-14. [HL6429]

Lord Astor of Hever: The Treasury has agreed to exceptional budget flexibility for the Ministry of Defence and has agreed that the full amount of the underspend against the core budget in 2012-13 can be carried forward to subsequent years. Part of the underspend will be allocated to 2013-14 and part to 2014-15.
Armed Forces: Interpreters

House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for Tuesday 16 April 2013

Military Aircraft: Helicopters

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contingency plan is in place to fulfil maritime surveillance roles if
Crowsnest is not operational by 2016. [150928]

Mr Robathan: I refer the hon. Member to my letter to the House of Commons Defence Committee on 28 January 2013. A copy of the letter can be found at the following link:

MOD Ashchurch

Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the estimated cost of moving the operations carried out at Ashchurch to another base in terms of (a) the cost of physical movement, (b) extra training costs, (c) redundancy payments and (d) any other costs; and if he will make a statement. [150723]

Mr Dunne[holding answer 15 April 2013]: The facilities at Ministry of Defence (MOD) site at Ashchurch are at the end of their life and parts of the site can no longer be used as a result of health and safety requirements. The facilities would need extensive renewal to continue to be operational effectively, while the vehicle numbers that the site supports are reducing as a result of the strategic defence and security review. The MOD is therefore reviewing a number of vehicle basing options and has identified opportunities for greater efficiency from relocating facilities rather than investing in the infrastructure at Ashchurch. The MOD will be withdrawing from the site entirely unless retention of a small number of specific buildings proves better value for money. It is too early at this time to provide further details of any associated costs. The MOD has a responsibility to gain the best value for money for the taxpayer and has identified the opportunity that MOD Ashchurch could be made available as development land, contributing to the Government’s aim to make surplus public sector land available for housing, with the potential capacity for up to 2,100 new homes. A public consultation has been undertaken so that wider views and opinions can be taken into consideration for any future development.

RAF Brize Norton

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the Atlas training programme at RAF Brize Norton. [1

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