Atomic Weapons Establishment: Finance

Defence written question – answered on 13th March 2007.

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Photo of Mike Hancock Mike Hancock Liberal Democrat, Portsmouth South

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of the defence budget was spent on the Atomic Weapons Establishment in each of the last 10 years; and what the planned figures are for the next five years.

Photo of Des Browne Des Browne Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence, The Secretary of State for Defence

The percentage of the planned defence budget spent on the Atomic Weapons Establishment in each of the last 10 years is as follows:

Outturn spend as a percentage of the planned budget
1996-97 1.3
1997-98 1.4
1998-99 1.3
1999-2000 1.3
2000-01 1.2
2001-02 1.1
2002-03 1.1
2003-04 1.1
2004-05 1.3
2005-06(1) 1.8
(1) Provisional.

The forecast percentage of the planned defence budget to be spent at the Atomic Weapons Establishment is 2.4 per cent. in 2006-07 and 2.7 per cent. in 2007-08. This is due primarily to the programme of additional investment in sustaining key skills and facilities announced by my right hon. Friend John Reid on 19 July 2006, Hansard, column 59WS.

We will continue the programme of investment in sustaining capabilities at the Atomic Weapons Establishment, both to ensure we can maintain the existing warhead for as long as necessary and to enable us to develop a replacement warhead if required. This, and our plans for the maintenance of the independent nuclear deterrent were set out in the White Paper "The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent" (Cm 6994), published in December 2006.

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