§ Mr. Churchill
asked the Secretary of State for Defence on what forecastt rate of inflation the cash limit on the Defence Vote was established for the year 1979–80; and what steps Her Majesty's Government are taking to raise this cash limit in the light of the current rate of inflation.
§ Mr. Pym
The levels of increase in pay and prices assumed in calculating 1979–80802W Defence Estimates varied according to the economic category of the expenditure concerned. Details were published in the general notes accompanying the Estimates—HC 244, pages I-ii and I-iii.
Cash limit increases for defence totalling £409 million were announced last June—Cmnd 7604—to meet additional costs arising from the Armed Forces' pay award to restore full comparability, the civilian non-industrial pay award and expenditure on the equipment programme.
In addition, the Government will shortly be seeking the approval of the House through a Winter Supplementary Estimate for a further increase of £140 million primarily as a consequence of additional costs arising from increases in VAT and petroleum duty and the civilian industrial pay award. This further increase would bring the cash limit total to £8,553.6 million.