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Departmental Budget

Volume 546: debated on Monday 11 June 2012

The budget after 2015 will be set at the next spending review. Our current planning assumption is for a flat real-terms budget settlement overall, with a 1% real-terms increase per annum in the equipment and support budget, as agreed with the Treasury.

When will the Secretary of State publish the National Audit Office report on the budget and equipment programme? Such impartial information is needed by us as MPs, the public and the defence industry.

I completely accept that, and as I said to my right hon. Friend the Member for North East Hampshire (Mr Arbuthnot) a few moments ago, I am aware of the fact that the degree of confidentiality around the defence budget invites scepticism when such announcements are made. As soon as we have the report from the National Audit Office, we will publish it.