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UK defense ministry 'fails troops, wastes taxpayers money,' Labour says

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This is a file photo of a British Challenger 2 tank on exercise in Oman.

The British Labour Party says the defense ministry has failed the country’s troops and people by wasting billions of dollars of the taxpayers’ money on its military projects over the past decade.

The party said in a report on Wednesday that the Ministry of Defense (MoD) has “wasted” £13 billion ($17.61 billion) of taxpayers’ money on military projects since 2010.

The Labour’s audit of the department's finances, identified 67 cases of "waste," which it says could have been reasonably avoided or reduced by better management.

These cases include cancelled contracts and programs that went over budget, the report said.

It said scrapping plans to upgrade the Warrior armored vehicle wasted £595 million.

Addressing the ministry’s finances, the report said, the UK government is “failing British troops and British taxpayers.”

The department of defense, however, defended itself saying it has to take tough decisions” to ensure the UK is properly protected against potential threats that might emerge.

"This government is serious about investing in defense modernization to ensure the UK armed forces have the relevant capabilities to face today's threats” the ministry said in a statement.

“That means taking tough decisions to replace old equipment and halt programs that no longer fit requirements,” it added.

This is not the first time the UK defense ministry is accused of wasteful spendings. British National Audit Office and the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee have both previously raised concerns.

In November 2021, the Public Accounts Committee said that the ministry procurement arm was “wasting billions of taxpayers’ money." It also slammed the MoD for “repeated failure” back then.

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