Ministry of Defence wrote off £450m last year – enough to pay for 13,000 nurses

The MoD wrote off almost £450million last year in ditched projects, lost kit, accountancy wrangles and training accidents.

The huge sum would pay a year’s salaries for 13,409 nurses or 12,099 classroom teachers.

The biggest drain was scrapping hundreds of hi-tech armoured carriers, £231million.

A Land Equipment Fleet Optimisation Programme means old Mastiff, Ridgeback and Wolfhound carriers – almost £500,000 new – will go.

The next highest write-off was cutting back the RAF’s fleet of Sentry spy-in-the-sky surveillance aircraft – at a cost of £147million. In 2016 the six-strong Lincolnshire-based fleet – which was used against ISIS in Syria and Iraq – was grounded by an electrical fault.

The money lost could have paid for more than 13,000 nurses for a year

Another £21.6million loss was linked to the sale of the mine hunter HMS Quorn to Lithuania. Five drones crashed – costing £6million – while a flop IT system and duff software swallowed up £4.5million.

A power outage ruined medicines worth £1.9million, sonar equipment went missing, losing £791,000, and a damaged missile pod cost £640,000. A VAT error shed £843,000 – and £680,000 bill was unpaid by a third party supplied with fuel.

Danielle Boxall, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It is shocking. It’s time officials cut waste and showed more discipline with the public purse.”

The MoD said: “We are committed to delivering value and have strengthened our processes including training, specialist finance staff and better technology.”


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