To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to his Command Paper, Defence in a competitive age, published in March 2021, whether it remains his policy to reduce the armed forces to 72,500 by 2025; and what estimate he has made of the annual cost savings of that policy.
12 July 2022
There are currently no plans to reverse the decision to reduce the number of regular Army personnel to 73,000 by 2025.
The Integrated Review and Defence Command Paper made clear that we must focus on Defence capability rather than troop numbers in response to changing threats and priorities. The British Army will be more integrated and active, with a whole force of over 100,000 regulars and reservists, to address the current and future threats from across the globe.
Whilst the regular Army reorganises to its new structure of 73,000, naturally this will result in workforce cost savings. This reduction has been estimated to present £3.9 billion in savings over the 10 years following the financial year 2021-22. It should however be recognised more broadly that the department is seeing record investment, providing £41.3 billion to Army support and equipment.