We learnt over the weekend that a government watchdog has given a ‘red alert’ after another part of the government’s Trident replacement ran over budget.
£1.465 billion, which had been committed to upgrading facilities that make and maintain reactor cores for the existing and new generation of Trident submarines, is set to rise by £235 million to £1.7 billion. The colossal rise has sparked fears that other areas of Trident spending will also exceed already weighty budgets.
Earlier this month, a Freedom of Information request revealed that spending on two AWE nuclear bomb factories in Berkshire had doubled from a budgeted £2 billion to almost £4 billion.
Both of these revelations come after a history of dishonesty about Trident spending, as well as decades of incompetence from the Ministry of Defence whose budgets, on average, run over by a third.
In 2016, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament added up the publicly available figures for replacing Trident. We discovered that when you add up the in-service costs, the infrastructure costs, as well as the submarines and other areas of spending, the cost of Trident reaches a staggering £205 billion.
Although the government’s own figures include a contingency fund, it’s clear that we will soon reach a point where the cost of Trident surpasses £205 billion.