Ministry of Defence: Public Expenditure

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 4th February 2019.

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Photo of Stewart McDonald Stewart McDonald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of using multi-annual spending plans instead of annual budgets.

Photo of Gavin Williamson Gavin Williamson The Secretary of State for Defence

The Department maintains a 10-year plan of activity and spending intended to deliver the Government's strategic direction. These plans are typically developed in the context of a multi-year financial settlement and longer-term planning assumptions agreed with Her Majesty's Treasury.

The Department allocates indicative budgets across business areas over 10-years as the basis for planning. These plans are reviewed and adjusted annually as part of the Annual Budget Cycle process, which also confirms the budget settlement for each business area for the start of each financial year. More significant changes in plans are typically limited to significant fiscal or policy events such as a spending review. This approach of annual reviews of plans allows the Department to respond dynamically to emerging risks to delivery against strategic direction or financial pressures.

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