HC Deb 06 December 1983 vol 50 cc98-9W
Mr. Wigley

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will publish the latest estimate of the annual cost of military operations in Northern Ireland, together with the corresponding figures for each of the past five years.

Mr. Stanley

The extra cost of military operations in Northern Ireland in the financial year 1983–84 is estimated at £141 million at outturn prices. As the hon. Member was informed in a written reply on 13 July 1982—[Vol. 27, c.341–42]—a more realistic method of assessing the extra cost was adopted in 1981, and for this reason it is not possible to provide comparable figures for the financial years 1978–79 to 1980–81. However, the figures for 1981–82 and 1982–83 at outturn prices are £149 million and £143 million, respectively. The figure of £134 million for 1982–83, which the hon. Member was given on 13 July 1982, was not at outturn prices, as was stated, but at the original Estimates prices. I regret the error.