§ Mr. Chris Patten
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement about the 1982–83 block defence cash limit.
§ Mr. Brittan
It was announced on 29 June—[Vol. 26, c.743]—that defence costs in relation to the Falkland Islands would be met out of moneys in addition to the 3 per cent. annual rate of real growth.
It is too early to estimate precisely where additional Supply might be needed. Meanwhile, subject to parliamentary approval, the block defence cash limit for 1982–83 will be increased by £371 million to £13,623,905,000 on account of operations in the South Atlantic. This additional provision will meet the supply needs of the defence programme in the immediate future and will be sought by means of a Winter Supplementary Estimate.
The cash limit increase currently proposed is without prejudice to a further increase when the overall position is clearer and when account can be taken of likely outturn on non-Falklands expenditure.