Friday 31 March 2017 / 10:15 AM 2017 Press Archive / The Latest from Labour

Nia Griffith responds to reports Armed Forces are facing a £10bn funding shortfall

Nia Griffith MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary,
commenting on reports our Armed Forces are facing a £10bn funding shortfall,
said:

“This is deeply worrying, and the result of years
of mistakes and poor decisions made under the Tories.  

“The severe cuts imposed on the defence budget
since 2010 has led to countless knee-jerk decisions, like scrapping the Nimrod
maritime patrol aircraft, which has left us reliant on allies to track Russian
subs off the UK coast. 

“Last year we saw the Army shrink below 80,000
for the first time, far short of the Government’s manifesto pledge to keep it
above 82,000. 

"Further cuts of £1bn each year, to make up
for this mis-management of the defence budget, will do yet more severe damage
to our Armed Forces. Reports that the Royal Marines could be further cut are
particularly concerning. 

“On the Today programme, the Defence Secretary kept
referring to investment in equipment but he needs to be investing in our forces
personnel to ensure that professional standards remain high, and that they are
trained to be able to operate and maintain new kit. Our Armed Forces are driven
by the hard working men and women who serve and it’s time the Tories recognised
that.  

"It simply isn’t good enough for ministers to
say they can’t verify whether these reports are accurate. They
urgently need to get a grip and explain where they intend these savings to
come from.”