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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 June, 2004, 22:53 GMT 23:53 UK
MoD dismisses 'huge budget cuts'
HMS Trafalgar
The Navy's fleet could be cut, the Mail on Sunday says
The Ministry of Defence has dismissed as "speculative" a media report that it is to face the biggest cuts in 20 years in an upcoming spending review.

The Mail on Sunday published leaked details of cuts that all three armed services could face.

These included 10,000 RAF personnel being cut and four of the Army's 40 battalions being axed, the paper said.

An MoD spokesperson said: "We don't know the results of the spending review and nor does the Mail on Sunday."

He added: "I think this is purely speculative.

'Air base closure'

"We will wait and see what the outcome of the spending review is before we make any judgment on it."

The Mail on Sunday also said Chancellor Gordon Brown is planning cuts that will see six of the Navy's 30 warships taken out of commission.

At least one air base - probably Coltishall in Norfolk, the paper said - would be closed and 41 Jaguar planes axed.

The Navy will lose four Type 42 destroyers and two Type 23 frigates, the paper claimed.

The Treasury also dismissed the paper's claims about the government spending review expected within the next few weeks.

We are ensuring, and will continue to ensure, that our armed forces are best equipped to do the job we ask of them
The Treasury

A spokeswoman said the reports about army and navy cuts were "totally wrong".

The spending review would provide sufficient funding to ensure that the armed forces were well equipped, she said.

"Far from cuts, the 2002 spending review delivered the biggest sustained increase in defence spending for 20 years and on top of that, we have met in full the cost of campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan and the war on terror," said the spokeswoman.

"We are ensuring, and will continue to ensure, that our armed forces are best equipped to do the job we ask of them."




SEE ALSO:
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02 May 04 |  Business
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26 Apr 04 |  Hampshire/Dorset
Battle of Trafalgar remembered
21 Oct 03 |  Hampshire/Dorset


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