Alex Massie

Tories Pledge Painless Defence Cuts?

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So, the headlines from Liam Fox's speech today concentrate on his pledge to reduce MoD costs by 25% without, of course, there being any impact on "front-line troops". Our old chum Mr Efficiency Savings is being asked to report for yet another tour of duty. Doubtless there are indeed parts of the defence civil service that can be pruned and reformed. But, as this post from Think Defence suggests, this isn't going to be easy. Indeed, there are probably areas of the MoD civilian service that need an increase in staff, not a cut.

But, again, I still don't understand Tory priorities. Health spending and, just as weirdly, international development budgets remain sacred but defence - a traditional Tory strength after all, even when there isn't a damn war being fought - and education (their flagship domestic policy) must prepare for cuts. This seems perverse. 

Previous oncerns about Tory defence policy here and here.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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