When it’s taxpayers’ money on the line, simple flaps can derail the importance of spending on projects deemed vital for national defense. According to the Telegraph’s Christopher Hope:
MPs on the Public Accounts Committee also warned that Britain’s aircraft carrier programme faces further spiralling costs and the project remains a “high risk” because significant technical problems have not been resolved and there is potential for “uncontrolled growth” in the final bill.
Officials at the Ministry of Defence were strongly criticised for rushing into a decision to change the type of aircraft to be flown from the carriers, ahead of the defence spending review in 2010.
The Government said it had adopted the carrier variant of the US-built F35 Joint Strike Fighter, dropping a “jump jet” version of the same aircraft which was picked by the previous administration, on cost and operational grounds.
Even defense- or security-related businesses in other parts of England, such as Bristol, may be miffed by such unnecessary spending. The city hosts the main facilities of Defence Equipment and Support and is best known for an aerospace industry that spawned aviation classics such as the Concorde airliner. The fallout from the Queen Elizabeth-class carrier programme can serve as a lesson to business owners looking for good accountants in Bristol like those from Wormald and Partners Chartered Accountants.
According to a Committee report, the original estimates for the carriers’ technical conversion were pegged “between £500 million and £800 million.” The aim was to change from a ski-ramp system for an F-35 B to a catapult and arrestor-gear based system designed to handle F-35 Cs.
However, a review of the numbers saw the cost spike to an estimated £2 billion. Last May, 2012, Defence Sec. Phillip Hammond said that the reversal of the decision was due to cost issues with fitting the launch gear. The official insisted that the reversal was meant to “save £1.2 billion, a clear demonstration of our commitment to safeguard taxpayers’ money.”
Every last pound counts in these times of fiscal uncertainty. A Bristol tax accountant from firms like Wormald and Partners Chartered Accountants will make sure that a client spending large sums on an undertaking will be looked after.
(Info from ‘Basic’ accounting errors such as not allowing for VAT led to MoD officials wasting millions on wrong carrier aircraft, The Telegraph, September 3, 2013)