MoD confirms 4,000 more military redundancies

17 Jan 12
The Ministry of Defence has announced the next round of military redundancies to deal with the ‘vast black hole’ in its budget.

By Nick Mann | 17 January 2012

The Ministry of Defence has announced the next round of military redundancies to deal with the ‘vast black hole’ in its budget.

Up to 2,900 members of the Army, 1,000 members of the Royal Air Force and 400 members of the Royal Navy will lose their jobs under the second tranche of job cuts following the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review.

The review identified the need for personnel cuts of 17,000 by 2015. Of these, 7,000 will be from the Army and 5,000 each from the RAF and Navy.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said the cuts were necessary to ensure the MoD addressed the deficit it inherited from the previous administration. The department is reported to be facing a £39bn budget shortfall.

‘The size of the fiscal deficit we inherited left us no choice but to reduce the size of the armed forces – while reconfiguring them to ensure they remain agile, adaptable and effective,’ he said.

‘As we continue with the redundancy process we will ensure we retain the capabilities that our armed forces will require to meet the challenges of the future.’

According to the MoD, this will be the last ‘major’ round of redundancies for the RAF and Navy, who are expected to be able to meet the remainder of their personnel cuts by not filling new vacancies and slowing down recruitment.

However, further reductions were identified in July 2011 for the Regular Army, whose numbers will be cut from 102,000 to 82,000 by 2020.

The first redundancies, announced in September 2011, cut 1,020 jobs from the Royal Navy, alongside 920 from the Army and 920 from the Royal Air Force. Of those leaving, 62% had applied to be made redundant, the MoD said.

Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy said that although the defence budget needed to be cut, the fact that the latest reductions in personnel were coming at a time of economic hardship and significant security threats would be of ‘deep concern’ across the country.

‘Savings must be made and Britain will need to confront global threats with leaner, more advanced armed forces in future,’ he said.

‘The most important baseline, however, is national security and we worry these cuts are wrong-headed and rushed. We need to know the full military impact of losing such important capability.’
Murphy called on ministers to do more to convince that they were looking after service leavers, their families and those on the front line.


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