Modernising Defence Programme - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:24 pm on 18th December 2018.

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Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords 8:24 pm, 18th December 2018

We have not hedged all our defence budget, but we have hedged a substantial proportion of it, particularly that which is payable in dollars. I was speaking to our finance director last week about this. Although she could never be sanguine about the way the pound is moving, she is much clearer now that we have an affordable equipment budget over the next couple of years, which is the period over which she aims to hedge. I have already made clear to the noble Lord, Lord Browne, that it is unfortunately impossible for me to enumerate at this point those projects which will come under the umbrella of the transformation fund. It was said that £160 million is not a great deal of money—it sounds like a great deal of money to me, I must say—but one should not think of transformation simply in terms of platforms and assets. One has to think of it in terms of different ways of working and of modernising practices within defence. That is where this fund will score most heavily.