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Trident costs spiral amid chaotic mismanagement

THE Ministry of Defence was accused yesterday of throwing more than £1 billion down the drain after years of delays in repairs to its Trident programme. 

Anti-war campaigners CND slammed the “inexcusable” overspend.

Spending watchdog the National Audit Office (NAO) looked at three projects within the Trident programme and found that they were over-budget and behind schedule. 

The three projects were valued at £2.5bn, but the NAO found that costs had risen by £1.35bn with delays running at up to six years.

CND general secretary Kate Hudson said: “These billion-pound over-runs at the MoD are completely inexcusable, especially when you consider we’re only three years into a 16-year development cycle for the new Trident submarines.”

The wasted funds can be added to the money already guzzled by Britain’s weapons of mass destruction which incur running costs of £2bn per year. 

Plans to renew Trident completely, which MPs voted for in 2016, have been put at £41bn to £51bn. 

Although, CND has put the cost far higher, saying that the total for replacing the war heads could reach £205bn.  

“The mismanagement that this new report identifies is a bad omen for the safety of the new nuclear weapons system and could well bankrupt the MoD, which taxpayers will be expected to bail out,” Ms Hudson added. 

“It really is time to scrap Trident and release the billions saved for socially useful spending and bring an end to this sorry tale of MoD incompetence.”

The watchdog put the waste down to poor management, a lack of skills at the MoD and failure to learn from past mistakes when Trident underwent similar works in the 1980s. 

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