Last week the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA), the UK Government’s centre of expertise for infrastructure and major projects, reporting to the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury, produced a damning report into the rising cost of replacing Trident.
A “red” warning was given, meaning that successful delivery of the project “appears to be unachievable” within budget.
Previously costed at £1,465 million, a further £235 million is required to build the reactor cores for the four new submarines proposed.
The IPA makes clear that “there are major issues on project definition, schedule, budget, quality and/or benefits delivery, which at this stage do not appear to be manageable or resolvable.”
Patricia Gibson commented:
“The cost of renewing Trident is already astronomical, with the nuclear warheads priced at £20,300 million, building the submarines £31,000 million - with a £10,000 million contingency fund - and maintenance over 30 years an eye-watering £150,000 million plus!
“The IPA report shows that with severe financial overruns just to build the reactors, costs are likely to soar even higher on this unaffordable UK vanity project.
“There are many moral and political reasons for opposing nuclear weapons. On cost alone though it is simply madness to continue, especially at a time when pension ages are being hiked, disability benefits cut and public services are struggling for cash.
“Meanwhile, the waste of public money by the Ministry of Defence continues to be of concern. Last year alone more than £218 million of taxpayers money was written off on damaged equipment, cancelled contracts and financial penalties. This incompetent UK Tory Government needs to get a grip and ensure that taxpayer’s money is spent sensibly. One obvious way to do that would be to cancel Trident’s renewal!”
As an example of some of the waste, last year, £3 million was spent repairing HMS Ambush, a hunter-killer submarine which collided with a cargo vessel.
£50.6 million was written off after the Stopping the Soothsayer project to detect and locate hostile radio and radar signals was cancelled.
A further £3.3 million was the cost to the taxpayer after 10,604 gas canisters owned by a military contractor were lost.