There have already been reports of falling donations to service charities and I don’t think anyone will be under any illusions about the continuance of this trend.
There is equally no doubt that the MoD has been able to utilise, take advantage or simply benefit from the recently increased level of donations to service charities.
After all, every Pound donated to BLESMA or H4H or SSAFA means a pound less the MoD has to spend. Whilst the Armed Forces Covenant has received some exposure and service personnel have benefited from, LIBOR fines for example, this over reliance on charity cannot continue.
With a finite or falling defence vote and likely fewer charitable donations the MoD will be in a position where it has to increase the proportion of its budget on welfare for service personnel, their families and veterans at the expense of investment and running costs.
That is, if it wishes to maintain the same overall funding for veterans and welfare.
Simply put, the choice is to increase the proportion of the MoD’s budget on welfare issues or not because the magic pot of money at the end of the rainbow is a fairy tale.
When the supply of fresh amputees dries up, the Millies have packed up and gone home and the sadly inevitable consequences of extended operations to deal with the choice between welfare and capability will have to be made.
Tough times and tough decisions ahead.
Will SDSR 2015 be up to the challenge?