MoD censured over £1bn ‘peacekeeping’ bill

The Ministry of Defence has been censured for sending parliament a last-

minute bill for just over £1bn bill for ‘peacekeping’ operations in Iraq and

Afghanistan, without spelling out in detail how the money has been spent.

The Commons Defence Committee delivered the protest in a special report on

the 2005-06 Spring Supplementary Estimates, revealing it had had to demand a

detailed breakdown of the expenditure.

It said it supported both operations but ‘telling Parliament that the costs

of the deployment to Afghanistan are “around a billion” is not good
enough’ – a reference to a separate estimate of that exercise over the next

five years.

The MPs said the excuse that accurate detailed information was not available

earlier was not acceptable, and said that the practice of waiting until it

was time for the supplementary estimates must stop.

The costs are over and above those the MoD had already budgeted for
maintaining the armed forces.

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