Scrap Defence Training College, says Lib Dem
Sep 15 2009 By Tomos Livingstone
THE planned £13bn Defence Training College in the Vale of Glamorgan should be scrapped as part of a series of cuts in public spending, the Liberal Democrats said this morning.
With the Government’s budget deficit running at £175bn, all parties are considering ways of making savings, with Prime Minister Gordon Brown expected to concede the need for cuts for the first time in a speech to union leaders later.
Lib Dem Treasury spokesman Vince Cable has identified the Training College, due to open in St Athan in 2014, as one project that should be dropped.
The scheme would privatise and centralise non-combat training for the armed services, and its backers say it will bring 5,000 jobs to the area.
It had previously been supported by Liberal Democrats in Cardiff Bay.
Mr Cable said: “The time for generalities is over.
“Instead, we need serious proposals for cutting public spending and tackling the UK's budget deficit.
“The priority is to move the economy out of recession but there is also a need to restore fiscal credibility and to allow Government to focus its resources where are they are most needed.
“We need to debate when, how and where the cuts will come. Un
doubtedly more are required to meet the exacting fiscal disciplines but asking the British public for their vote at the next election means being upfront from the outset about what Government should and should not be spending its money on.”
The party would also ditch a series of Government IT projects and save £2.4bn a year by freezing public sector pay.
A spokesman for the Welsh Liberal Democrats said: “There are going to have to be significant cuts beyond those which the Government have stepped forward and suggested. If we didn’t cut here, cuts would be needed somewhere else.”
Different schemes for armed forces training could be considered instead, the spokesman added.