The best service personnel in the world deserve better equipment

In a new report, Labour has accused the Ministry of Defence of “wasting” £13bn of taxpayers’ money since 2010.

The party used independently-collated data to identify 67 cases of “waste” – which it defines as when costs could have been reasonably avoided or reduced by better management.

These include cancelled contracts and programmes that went over budget.

The MoD has an annual budget of more than £40bn a year – with nearly half that money spent on equipment. It manages a fifth of all the government’s major projects.

However, so far none of its 36 major projects is rated green – defined as the project being on time and within the original budget.

The report gives several examples of projects which have already gone significantly over budget.

Cancelled projects have also cost the MoD millions of pounds.

The MoD has also scrapped or sold off some equipment earlier than originally planned – including hundreds of armoured vehicles, purchased for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have been disposed of. MoD accounts valued the “write-off” at £213m.

Commenting on the report, Hilary Meredith-Beckham, Chair of Hilary Meredith Solicitors said:

“From my experience acting for the men and women of our armed forces injured or killed in service as a result of faulty or substandard equipment, I know only too well that while we have the best military in the world they are amongst the most poorly equipped.

“In recent conflicts serving alongside the US military, it has become clear just how badly equipped our troops are.

“A long hard look needs to be taken at the procurement agency which should be open to public scrutiny.”