Trident: now the Treasury and MoD squabble over who foots the bill

Posted by jossc — 19 July 2010 at 3:52pm - Comments

HMS Vanguard, Britain's first Trident submarine

No one has been more insistent that Britain must commit to replacing Trident than new defence secretary Liam Fox. Despite the lack of credible targets and the exorbitant cost, Dr Fox has fought doggedly for a new generation of nuclear weapons to protect Britain from "nuclear blackmail" by other states - apparently North Korea (possibly four missiles at most) and Iran (none at all) give him palpitations and sleepless nights.

But now, in a deliciously ironic twist, Dr Fox is being asked to put his department's money where his mouth is. Traditionally the Treasury pays for the capital investment in nuclear weapons, but such is the pressure to cut-back on government spending across the board that the Chancellor is now keen that the MoD should foot the bill instead.

Darling's budget: green shoots but only a little green growth

Posted by jossc — 25 March 2010 at 4:06pm - Comments

The chancellor promises £1bn for clean energy projects, but much more will be needed

Although heavily trailed by the chancellor’s supporters as an environmental budget, in the end it turned out to be a lot less than a comprehensive green win.

Despite Mr Darling’s assurances that he gets the need for tougher carbon reduction targets, he backed away from raising fuel duty and found more money for motorways under pressure from road lobbyists.

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