RFA cuts due to shipping lobby?

The head of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary has suggested that proposed cuts are due to the powerful shipping lobby pressuring the Government into giving them business, The Portsmouth News reports.

An RFA ship at work

An RFA ship at work

Commodore Bill Walworth said: ‘The RFA has been specifically identified by the Treasury as an area for review against the requirements of Value for Money and the Operational Efficiency Programme.

‘As the world economy has slowed the shipping industry has been affected badly, and we believe they have lobbied government vigorously in order to gain business and diversify.’

These proposed cuts come less than three years after a review of the RFA, when the Government promised work until 2025, and represent a curious u-turn.

If this really a case of big powerful firms bullying the Government, the Ministry of Defence should be up front and honest about its motives, and not pretend that it is looking to make savings in the interests of efficiency when really it is cosying up to commercial interests. Our armed forces do not exist to indulge the private sector.

National defence and security should not be privatised to the point of compromising our armed forces and our servicemen. Capability and efficiency should always come before private profits.

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