MoD not fit for purpose

Published Jan 30, 2017

Bill.jpgUKIP Defence spokesman Bill Etheridge MEP has said the report by the National Audit Office into defence funding "should make the government hang their heads in shame at their negligence of our Armed Forces."

"I am strongly in favour of a properly financed defence budget, above the current levels where we fudge the figures to reach the 2% target requested by NATO," he said.

"For too many years, the job of defending our country has been Cinderella with the ugly sisters of foreign aid and throwing money at unreformed projects soaking up billions of taxpayers money.

"Report after report has shown the Ministry of Defence is not fit for purpose yet Mr Cameron rewarded the Secretary of State for Defence with a knighthood, probably for backing 'remain' in the referendum.

"National strategic interest should be the only relevant factor in deploying troops and a significant uplift in tanks, air defences, artillery and infantry numbers are needed before we can attempt anything like we did in the 1990s.

"It is clear to me that our Armed Forces are woefully underfunded with rock bottom morale and a crisis in recruitment. We could not defend ourselves against an attack from a country like Russia and we have spent the last few years running down our defences at the expense of tying ourselves into arrangements with other countries, predominantly France, and yet still acting as global policeman following the disastrous Blair doctrine of interfering internationalism.

"It is time defence of the realm was the government's number one priority and that means proper equipment, stopping the harassment of our troops by IHAT and a massive uplift in defence spending.

"I look forward to the government replying to my colleague Lord Pearson of Rannoch about any future plans for upgrading our infantry fighting vehicles."

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