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U.K. Budget Cuts May Mean Size of Armed Forces Is Cut by 30,000, RUSI Says

U.K. government plans to cut departmental budgets to reduce the nation’s deficit might lead to cuts of 30,000 military personnel, according to the Royal United Services Institute.

In his June 22 budget, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said most government departments would have to find savings of as much as 25 percent. He exempted the defense ministry while it conducts a review into Britain’s strategic defense requirements, due this fall.

In a paper published today, Malcolm Chalmers of London- based RUSI estimated the core defense budget could be cut by as much as 15 percent in real terms over the next four years.

“Given the difficulties involved in making sharp and rapid reductions in procurement spending, the personnel budget will have to bear a significant share of this cut,” Chalmers said in the research paper published on RUSI’s website.

“It is therefore projected that there may have to be a reduction of around 15 per cent in total Ministry of Defence personnel numbers, including cuts of 30,000 in military personnel and 13,000 in the number of Ministry of Defence- employed civilians,” he wrote.

There were 191,000 members of the armed forces on April 1 this year, according to statistics from the ministry.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kitty Donaldson in London at kdonaldson1@bloomberg.net.

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