Yesterday the Shropshire Star had the following to say about the defence debate in the house of commons:
Thursday the 9th of October was another “non announcement” on the future of Package 1 DTR from the Minister for the Armed Forces Bob Ainsworth. Local MP’s Mark Pritchard both asked questions during the debate, an ad hoc version is below. Of interest was the fact that none of the Welsh MP’s made any comment.”PCS Branch Official H O’Harney at Cosford said “The news that further delays in the programme did not come as a shock to the staff at Cosford, they have been waiting for years to have clarification on their futures .The MoD seem hell bent on moving to Wales at all cost and the sooner the National Audit Office or Publics Account Committee review this programme the better since PCS are still skeptical that DTR is affordable. A £12 billion PFI carrying on in this current finacial crisis seems ridiculous given the risks and affordability issues. Our members at Cosford have made it clear that they have no intention to move Wales and the risk to the training of the Armed Forces is still real. It would appear that the MoD want to privatise at all cost despite the huge risks”
The response to a question, by the astute MP Mark Pritchard, Mr. Ainsworth: I am sure that the hon. Gentleman has a national interest too, but he has a particular interest in this matter and, obviously, he pursues it. I am not saying that the costs have not changed. I am saying that we still have an affordable package that is far cheaper than the alternatives, and that has been worked on over the summer. We will be able to go ahead with defence package 1 and get value for money out of those proposals…..
This is another first for the DTR programme in suggesting that the “fallback posistion” is more expensive than the proposed move to St Athan !! No wonder the Department needs to give Metrix another six months grace to rearrange costings to fit. It is also of note that in the preamble issued to staff that the MoD have stated that the sale of additional sites plays no part in enabling the move to ahead. Strangely in their own Risk Assessment which was featured in the Private Eye magazine, this was one the MoD’s identified risks. The fact that the DTR IPT can try to spin another 6 month delay is a positive message to all the staff is ludicrous !! PCS will continue to campaign against this looming financial disaster.