Defence Training Review Programme

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 3rd November 2008.

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Photo of Mark Pritchard Mark Pritchard Conservative, The Wrekin 2:30 pm, 3rd November 2008

How much his Department has spent on the defence training review programme to date; and if he will make a statement.

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Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

Expenditure to date on the defence training review programme is £34.6 million. That includes the expenditure costs of both package 1 and package 2 of the training review programme.

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Photo of Mark Pritchard Mark Pritchard Conservative, The Wrekin

The Minister will know that the defence training review is the largest private finance initiative in British history. It was originally estimated that the cost would be £11 billion, but in the last six months it has risen to £12 billion. Will the Minister confirm whether this programme will go ahead and whether Treasury Ministers have been consulted about the escalating costs?

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Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

The hon. Gentleman is right that the financial situation has led to cost growth in the programme, but we have worked with Metrix to see how to minimise the costs. I know that this will disappoint the hon. Gentleman greatly because of his constituency interest, but I have to say that the programme is still affordable and remains more affordable than the in-house alternative, so our plans are to go ahead with the programme on the basis of package 1.

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