Lib Dem manifesto: Defence procurement under review

14 April 2010

14 April 2010 | Nick Martindale

The UK Liberal Democrat party has pledged to review all major government defence procurement projects as part of a plan to save £15 billion year-on-year if it comes to power.

Launching his party’s election manifesto today, leader Nick Clegg said the Lib Dems would revisit all major spending projects through the Strategic Spending Defence Review announced by the Labour government in 2009, which is scheduled to take place after the election.

The party also committed to abandoning a tranche of the Eurofighter project and ruled out the like-for-like replacement of the Trident nuclear weapons system. Franco-British and wider European defence co-operation would ensure procurement costs were kept low, the manifesto pledged.

IT procurement projects across government departments would be targeted in a bid to reduce the deficit, while new approaches such as cloud computing and open-source software would be investigated as alternatives to expensive technology rollouts.

Clegg also vowed to use the government’s purchasing power to expand the markets for green products and technologies and to use government procurement policy to encourage development of sustainable and fairly traded products.

 “We will invest in green energy, public transport and homes, so that the new economy we build from the wreckage of the old is environmentally sustainable and one where Britain learns once again to build things,” he said.

The country will go to the polls on 6 May.

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