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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 October, 2003, 21:47 GMT
Iraq costs UK taxpayer 1.25bn
British soldiers
The UK has spent 700m on military operations
British involvement in the Iraq war and its aftermath has so far cost UK taxpayers more than 1.25bn, the government has said.

The bulk of the money - an estimated 700m - went on military operations.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw warned it was too early to predict how much further those costs would rise.

The rest of the funds went on reconstruction, extra security at UK embassies in the Middle East and establishing the British Office in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

Chancellor Gordon Brown set aside a special reserve of 3bn in this year's Budget to cover the cost of UK involvement in Iraq.

Mr Straw, in a written statement, also confirmed the 544m commitment to Iraq's reconstruction announced by International Development Secretary Hilary Benn at the international donors' conference in Madrid last week.

Security

The government also plans to spend 1.3m on security posts in this financial year.

Additional security at diplomatic posts in the Middle East cost 5.62m.

It is too early to predict the continuing costs of military deployment
Jack Straw

By the end of 2003-4 up to 12.1m will have been spent on the British Office in Baghdad and other bilateral representation.

Over the same period an extra 1.8m is expected to have been spent on Iraq-related costs outside the Gulf state.

Mr Straw said: "The government has not so far committed any other amounts in connection with the United Kingdom's involvement in Iraq.

"It is too early to predict the continuing costs of military deployment, support for the Coalition Provisional Authority and the development of bilateral relations beyond the end of this financial year."




SEE ALSO:
US Iraq deaths exceed war toll
30 Oct 03  |  Middle East


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