HC Deb 08 July 2003 vol 408 c700W
Mr. Llwyd

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average monthly cost of military operations in(a) Afghanistan and (b) Iraq have been in the last three months. [123403]

Mr. Ingram

The Department identifies the costs of operations in terms of the net additional costs it has incurred. The costs, which the Department would have incurred had the operation not been undertaken—expenditure on wages and salaries or on conducting training exercises for example—are deducted from the total costs of the operation.

I regret the information cannot be provided in precisely the format requested. Costs are not incurred on a regular monthly basis and to provide such an average would be misleading.

Actual and provisional outturn for operations in Afghanistan are as follows:

£ million
Operating costs1 Expenditure on capital items2
2001–02 188 34
2002–03 (provisional outturn) 236 75
1Defined as Resource DEL in Main Supply Estimates.
2Defined as Capital DEL in Main Supply Estimates.

Full definitions of Resource and Capital DEL are included in the Glossary of Terms in Public Expenditure Statistical Analysis 2002–03, published by HM Treasury.

On Iraq, calculating all the costs of military action will take some time to determine since it will include the cost of ammunition, bombs and guided weapons consumed in excess of peacetime levels and the cost of equipment destroyed and damaged. These sums are likely to be significant. However, excluding costs of war-fighting (essentially those described above), the latest estimate is that the net additional cost of operations in Iraq for 2002–03 will not exceed £1 billion; the amount set aside at Spring Supplementary Estimates 2002–03.

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