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Britain's defence cuts on target.

The government's plan to cut defence costs is on target, according to a White Paper on defence estimates, published today.

The white Paper shows estimated spending for 976-77 at pounds 5,632 million which, it says, is equivalent in real terms to the target at 1975 survey prices of pounds 4,566 million.

Pay and price increases over the past year were pounds 1,006 million.

The defence budget is about 5 1/2 per cent of the estimated gross national product for 1976-1977.

The white Paper recalls that a saving of pounds 110 million at 1974 survey prices and pounds 196 million in 1975 survey prices in 1976-77 was announced by the Chancellor in his 1975 budget.

The defence budget has been kept to target by means of a wide range of adjustments to the programme in the general support and works areas "and by improvjing some saving in equipment at a time which does not impinge some on the effectiveness of our essential contribution to NATO."

The White Ptper says that almost the whole of Britain's defence effort is now devoted to supporting NATO's strategy.

Our contribution to the alliance consists of professional volunteer forces of the highest efficiency and dedication, equipped with modern weapons and ready for immediate and stalwart defence, it says.

The Royal Air Force Association is applying to extend its club premises at 119 Soho Hill, Hockley, Birmingham.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Feb 2, 2008
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