June 22, 2011
George Osborne has refused to be drawn on the cost of the Libyan intervention, following comments at the weekend by Danny Alexander that it would reach “hundreds of millions” of pounds.
The chancellor and his chief secretary to the Treasury, both present in the Commons, were pressed to confirm the figure by the shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, during Treasury questions. Balls said that in March the government had said the operation would cost “tens of millions not hundreds of millions”. Instead it was announced there will be a Ministry of Defence statement next week.
On Sunday Alexander told Sky News: “The campaign is costing tens of millions, potentially into the hundreds of millions as it goes on, but that money is coming from the reserve that we have set aside, precisely for contingencies such as this.”
When the military campaign started, the chancellor said the cost would be “in the order of tens of millions of pounds, not hundreds of millions”.
This article was posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 at 3:36 am