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Defence Secretary says cut welfare not troops

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Defence Secretary says cut welfare not troops

Post  Panda on Sat 2 Mar - 10:15

Philip Hammond: cut welfare not troops


The Defence Secretary today warns that the Armed Forces cannot sustain
further cuts and demands that the welfare bill is reduced to reflect rising
levels of employment instead.










Image 1 of 3
The Defence Secretary disclosed
that he would strongly resist future cuts to the military Photo: Lee Thompson



Image 1 of 3
The Secretary of State for
Defence, Philip Hammond joins the Royal Marines on Arctic Training near the
Asegarden Camp in Harstad, Norway. Photo: Lee
Thompson



Image 1 of 3
The Royal Marines during Arctic
training exercises near the Asegarden Camp in Harstad, Norway Photo: Lee Thompson











By Holly Watt, Whitehall Editor in
Harstad, Norway

12:01AM GMT 02 Mar 2013

48 Comments




In an interview with The Telegraph,
Philip Hammond makes public concerns that will be raised in forthcoming Cabinet
talks on spending cuts due to be implemented by George Osborne after 2015.



He says the “first priority” must be “defending the country and maintaining
law and order” and that further defence cuts are not possible while meeting
stated security objectives.


Mr Hammond says there is a “body of opinion within Cabinet who believes that
we have to look at the welfare budget again” because a 0.5 per cent saving from
the benefits bill would protect the Armed Forces.


He adds that “we should be seeing welfare spending falling” as a result of
rising levels of employment. The unusually frank public intervention from a
loyal senior Conservative minister is unlikely to be welcomed by Mr Osborne and
the Prime Minister because it lays bare deep divisions over future spending
decisions.


There have been rumours of a “union of ministers” blocking further cuts and
Mr Hammond today indicates that this is the case. His comments are also expected
to add to tensions within the Coalition because the Liberal Democrats are
opposed to more welfare cuts.



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His intervention comes after the Conservatives slumped to an embarrassing
third place in the Eastleigh by-election, behind Ukip, leading to demands for
David Cameron to develop a more “Tory” agenda, with issues such as security and
immigration at the fore.

Speaking on a visit to an Arctic training camp for the Royal Marines before
the by-election result, the Defence Secretary disclosed that he would strongly
resist future cuts to the military, beyond moderate “efficiency savings”.

“I shall go into the spending review fighting the case for the defence budget
on the basis that we have made very large cuts to defence, we’ve done that with
the collaboration and cooperation of the military,” he said.

“Any further reduction in the defence budget would fall on the level of
activity that we were able to carry out — the idea that expensively bought
equipment may not be able to be used, expensively employed troops may not be
able to be exercised and trained as regularly as they need to be.”

He added: “I am not going into the spending review offering any further
reductions in personnel. In my judgment, and I think the Chancellor and the
Prime Minister would both agree with this, the Armed Forces are at the smallest
level that is appropriate for the kind of defence posture that we have set out
in the SDSR [2010’s Strategic Defence and Security Review]. It isn’t clear to me
that we could go any smaller while retaining the range of capabilities and
commitments that the SDSR requires of us.”

The Chancellor and Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, are
drawing up plans for the next spending review, covering the year 2015-16.

While budgets for health, education and international development will be
protected, the Ministry of Defence could be expected to reduce costs by at least
another £500 million. The MoD is still midway through the current round of
spending cuts, despite having already made thousands of troops redundant. Some
30,000 will be cut from the number of serving personnel, many thousands of whom
will go in the next two years.

Last month, Mr Cameron caused confusion by indicating that he would increase
overall defence spending from 2015, only for aides to say later that this would
only apply after 2016.

Today, Mr Hammond criticises Nick Clegg for not placing any Liberal Democrats
in the MoD. A Conservative source added: “There’s a real concern that the Lib
Dems want to protect the benefits culture at the expense of our troops.”

Panda
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Re: Defence Secretary says cut welfare not troops

Post  malena stool on Mon 4 Mar - 18:49

I'm normally not prone to coming anywhere near agreeing with anything a pathetic overpaid MP utters, but we are stretching our armed services dangerously thin.

Rather than cutting any services of any description here at home let's stop sending £billions abroad... Let's look after our own peoples needs, sooner than continuing to bring millions of immigrants to our shores and providing them with the facilities our taxes should be providing for us!


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Re: Defence Secretary says cut welfare not troops

Post  Panda on Tue 5 Mar - 8:01

malena stool wrote:I'm normally not prone to coming anywhere near agreeing with anything a pathetic overpaid MP utters, but we are stretching our armed services dangerously thin.

Rather than cutting any services of any description here at home let's stop sending £billions abroad... Let's look after our own peoples needs, sooner than continuing to bring millions of immigrants to our shores and providing them with the facilities our taxes should be providing for us!

malena, Hammond says since the cold war is over he is removing all the Troops from Germany 19,5,000 in all which will help . Don't rely on Cameron doing anything about immigration , he could call a halt NOW and stipulate no more unless the person has a job to come to. Border Agency are a disgrace, and should be replaced by Soldiers who will be made redundant .

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Re: Defence Secretary says cut welfare not troops

Post  malena stool on Tue 5 Mar - 8:58

Panda wrote:
malena stool wrote:I'm normally not prone to coming anywhere near agreeing with anything a pathetic overpaid MP utters, but we are stretching our armed services dangerously thin.

Rather than cutting any services of any description here at home let's stop sending £billions abroad... Let's look after our own peoples needs, sooner than continuing to bring millions of immigrants to our shores and providing them with the facilities our taxes should be providing for us!

malena, Hammond says since the cold war is over he is removing all the Troops from Germany 19,5,000 in all which will help . Don't rely on Cameron doing anything about immigration , he could call a halt NOW and stipulate no more unless the person has a job to come to. Border Agency are a disgrace, and should be replaced by Soldiers who will be made redundant .
Cameron's total inertia when it comes to facing the problem of allowing waves of unskilled, and unfit for purpose immigrants to cross our borders and blatantly take the few jobs and homes available for our own folk is an obscenity!
The coalition's chance to make sweeping changes to the abortion endowed upon us by New Labour has been thrown away in devising ever more complex ways of taxing those least able to afford it while increasing the fortunes of the mega rich and titled drones.

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