Defence Equipment Plan 2018–28
House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts
HC 1519
Feb. 01, 2019
In May 2018 we reported that the Ministry of Defence (the Department) did not have
enough money to buy and support the equipment it needs. Despite committing to
tackle this problem, the Department has made little progress, continuing to delay the
difficult decisions needed to make the Equipment Plan (the Plan) affordable, particularly
around which programmes to stop, delay or scale back.

It now estimates a most likely
affordability gap between its budget and its forecast costs of £7 billion across its Plan over the next ten years.

It also estimates that the gap could widen to £14.8 billion, but
even this looks to be unlikely and overly optimistic.

The escalating and continuing affordability issues have led to short-term decision-making which has only worsened the longer-term affordability risks.

As a direct result, there is uncertainty for both the Department and for industry which needs to be addressed.

Coupled with our ongoing concerns over the Department’s ability to forecast costs and efficiencies accurately, we
remain sceptical that the Department is close to reconciling what it says it needs with the funding it has available.



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