John Baron MP presses Minister over Army Reserve extra costs

January 13, 2015

MP criticises MOD’s continued silence

Today in Defence Questions in the House of Commons, John Baron MP pressed the Government on its plans to replace 20,000 regulars with 30,000 reservists – to be known as the Army reserve. John has been critical about the MOD’s unwillingness to detail the extra costs involved.

John asked:

“The latest MOD figures confirm that the Trained Strength of the Reservists has actually fallen over the last 18 months. Can the Minister tell the House how much extra it has cost to encourage recruitment over and above original estimates? The MOD’s continued silence suggests either embarrassment or ignorance.”

The Minister stated that the last 18 months had seen troughs but that recruitment was now picking up. As to the issue of extra costs, he confirmed that these had been incurred but that it was impossible to separate them out for a variety of reasons including the fact that some were one-offs.

John said afterwards:

“Those of us who opposed the Government’s Army Reserve plans did so believing they would lead to unacceptable capability gaps in the short term and false economies in the long. Given that recruitment is struggling and extra costs are being incurred, the time has surely come to scrap these ill-conceived plans and increase the Regular Army, particularly in these uncertain times.”

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