Thursday, 4 December 2014

Nuclear option needed to save economy

The respected, independent respected Institute for Fiscal Studies has calculated that as a result of its detailed assessment of the Chancellor’s  Autumn Statement, Spending cuts on a colossal scale with £55 billion to come, post 2015 election, on top of the £35 bn of painful cuts already inflicted on the public sector over the lifetime of our Conservative-led coalition Government. (

As Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has already committed any incoming Labour Government, should they win the election,  to follow the first year spending plans of the outgoing Government, then what is now required is to identify the least socially painful cuts any new Government could chose to make.

My own choice to make huge inroads into the £55 bn that needs to be saved from projected spending is to firstly, cancel the Trident  nuclear weapons programme replacement, which if completed will cost at least £100 bn and  on which this week the Ministry of Defence admitted in a written answer  to Labour MP Paul Flynn it has already spent some $59 million on missile  launch tubes from the US company, General Dynamics Electric Boat, even before any final decision to go ahead with the Trident replacement is made in 2016.( Questions: 215790, 2 Dec)

New ministers should immediately cut further massive losses on coming into office, if the Coalition has not already cancelled the programme and sought more sustainable security policies for the nation.

Secondly, ministers should cancel the civilian nuclear programme, which is due to cost at least £24 bn for each twin reactor, with huge taxpayer–funded subsidies. Buried in the voluminous Autumn Statement announcements was one from the Department for Energy and Climate Change that the Treasury has agreed to underwrite a new £10 bn loan guarantee for the joint venture between Japanese  company Toshiba-Westinghouse and French company GDF SUEZ,  for a proposed new nuclear power plant at Moorside, next to Sellafield, on top of an identical £10 bn  being provided to another French company, EDF Energy

With very limited sums of public money available as we move into a continuing  austere economic future, why is British taxpayers money  being promised to US, Japanese and French nuclear  companies?

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