UK & World News
Armed Forces Facing £11bn More Cuts Warning
More redundancies could be made in the UK Armed Forces according to new analysis of the defence budget.
The respected Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) claims cuts to budgets are "likely" in 2015, despite hopes that the worst was over.
According to the Institute's calculations, the military might have to accept that budget savings need to be made of around "£11bn ... over 10 years as a result of the decisions taken in Autumn Statement 2012 and Spending Review 2013".
"The MoD is likely to face a very difficult 2015 spending review, especially if the country's wider fiscal position remains as difficult as is now projected," RUSI predicts.
The Ministry of Defence recently announced the latest round of redundancies that will affect the army, with 5,300 soldiers to lose their jobs in June.
The RUSI report says the MoD does not face a problem "comparable in magnitude to the black hole it faced in the 2010 Spending Review", but it concludes that the UK's overall economic outlook will lead to reduced budgets.
In response, Philip Dunne, the Defence, Equipment, Support and Technology Minister, has said: "The MoD budget for 2015/16 will be set this summer and the budget for subsequent years will be finalised in the next full spending review.
"The Treasury has made clear that the MoD may plan on receiving a 1% real-terms increase in the equipment budget from 2015/16 onwards.
"This has been endorsed by the Prime Minister. Our Armed Forces will remain a formidable fighting force, backed by the fourth-largest defence budget in the world."
RUSI concludes that the best hope for a return to defence spending is a recovery in the overall economy - something that the government cannot seem to achieve.
However, this worst-case-scenario painted by RUSI is based on hypothetical outcomes and will be regarded by some as unrealistic and scare-mongering.