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Subject: Eight Billion pound increase in defence budget!
Padfoot    7/25/2007 10:16:40 AM
The Ministry of Defence will have its budget increased by nearly £8bn over the next three years. In a statement to the Commons, defence secretary Des Browne told MPs that the added investment was part of announcements ahead of the government's full spending review in the autumn. Browne said that during the CSR period the armed forces would get £7.7bn, an average annual real terms increase of 1.5 per cent. "It is evidence of the government's commitment to defence and to the men and women who serve with the utmost bravery in our armed forces," the defence secretary said. A considerable part of the extra cash will be spent on two long-awaited new aircraft carriers. Browne said orders were being placed for the two 65,000 tonne vessels - and that they would be built in shipyards on the Clyde in Scotland. "The carriers represent a step change in our capability, enabling us to deliver increased strategic effect and influence around the world at a time and place of our choosing," he said. The ships are due to enter service in 2014 and 2016 at an estimated cost of £3.9bn. The programme is expected to create or safeguard 10,000 jobs around the UK, with more than 1,000 people employed on the actual construction at shipyards at Govan, Barrow, Rosyth and Portsmouth.
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StudentofConflict       7/26/2007 3:33:47 AM
well, its a step in the right direction, but more is necessary-and instead of just hi-tech toys, more manpower is needed as well as renovating defence housing stock, improving rehabilitation of long term wounded, upping R&D budgets etc. etc.
We can but hope-I'm living in the flood affected areas around the Thames, and whilst I've been a lucky myself, I'm sure a more than a few would be glad to see more soldiers available to help out...what do people think of David Camerons proposal for a dedicated national disaster response force?
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perfectgeneral       7/27/2007 1:26:08 PM
There is some Whitehall style triple counting going on with that increase. By the end of the third year they will have spent £7bn more, but the budget won't have increased by £7bn (you have to divide the increase by the three years). The average annual real terms increase of 1.5 per cent is less misleading.
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spsun10000       8/4/2007 7:40:24 AM
It's better news than the rumour they'd get nowt. However, defence procurement costs increase by 10% a year according to the Treasury Select Committee so it still doesn't keep pace. It also represents a reduction in the proportion of GDP that we spend on defence.
In addition to which we will continue to procure equipment to preserve jobs (Eurofighter) or be good little Europeans (Sylver VLS ) rather than according to military need or best value.
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Herc the Merc    bRITTANIA PREPARES TO TAKE THE SEA AGAIN   8/13/2007 12:16:13 AM
British rower sets sail on trans-Pacific quest

Sun Aug 12, 5:40 PM ET

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - After weeks of weather-related delays, a British woman set out on Sunday morning from northern California in a bid to become the first female to cross the Pacific solo in a rowboat.


Unfavorable weather forced Roz Savage, 38, to depart from Saint George, a small port near the Oregon border, rather than San Francisco as planned.

"She had a breakfast of cornflakes and plenty of coffee," Nicole Bilodeau, her spokesperson told AFP. "She was very zen, not nervous at all."

The tide was low at her early morning launch and she briefly ran aground, but pushed into deeper water and is doing fine, said Bilodeau.

In 2006, Savage successfully traversed the Atlantic in her 24-foot (seven meter) craft, The Brocade.

Her 6,700-mile (10,800 kilometer) journey begins with a two to three month paddle to Hawaii, followed by a stop on the South Pacific island of Tuvalu, and finally on to Australia.

Along the way, Savage will be documenting ocean borne debris and regularly posting video, photos, and personal dispatches to her blog. She hopes to raise awareness of the degraded oceanic environment.

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