£730 million a year for MoD civil servants on their meals, hotels and taxis is about the same as the annual over-spend on UORs etc that has created the £3.5 billion black hole in the MoD's accounts. So perhaps these 3 items of civil servants' government-financed meals, hotels and taxis are what should be cut in future to balance the MoD's annual budget.
But I am sure some at least of these costs are necessary, eg to assist diplomatic contacts with, & the sales of obsolete UK military equipment to, foreign governments etc. But definitely not £730 millions a year.
Saving half this amount per year, eg, over 2 - 3 years could buy another T45 Daring class A/D destroyers, & 2 over 5 years.
Alternatively, saving even less, eg about 15% - ie about £100 million annually during 2004/5 - would have paid for:
- about 200 more MRAP vehicles (perhaps slightly more, in fact),
- between 4 & 5 new Chinook helicopters,
- one more much-needed C17 Globemaster III strategic transport plane,
- approximately 2 more Reaper UAVs, so providing our forces with more improved armed recon capabilities,
- refitting about a third of the older Chinooks for service until replacemnets are finally available,
- if we still had the Sea Harriers, the upgrading of all of them - so filling the gap until the F35 arrives,
- etc etc etc!
This shows that the politicians are not in control of this department, & as so often happens in large organizations, that many MoD staff members have completely forgotten what they are there for, & have become concerned only for themselves. Meanwhile, brave soldiers & others are risking life & limb on a daily basis for a pittance! What a disgrace!
Agincourt you are spot on. Just when I thought the MoD could not get any worse. Words fail me. The frustrating thing is, just like with the MEP expenses, MP second homes fiddle (something even the Wintertons have been accused of), bugger all will be done about this. No heads will role and in a few years time we will be reading the same thing. Anyone for a revolution?