MEMBERS of Parliament have raised the alarm at the UK's budget for replacing the nuclear deterrent jumping by more than £38 billion.

A parliamentary committee raised concern over increasing expenditure at the Ministry of Defence amid budget overruns and delays.

The Public Accounts Committee said the greatest cause of cost increase was that spending on the nuclear deterrent had risen by 62 per cent in one year.

The budget for the next ten years has increased by £38.2 billion since the MoD last Equipment Plan last year.

An increase in costs has also been fuelled by currency exchange rates and inflation.

Barrow's shipyard is working on the next generation of Trident nuclear submarines, the Dreadnought class, as well as the last of the Astute-class hunter-killer vessels. 

The PAC chair Dame Meg Hillier said: "In an increasingly volatile world, the Ministry of Defence’s lack of a credible plan to deliver fully funded military capability as desired by Government leaves us in an alarming place. But this problem is not new. 

"Year-on-year our committee has seen budget overruns and delays in defence procurement.  A lack of discipline in the MoD’s budgeting and approach has led to an inconsistent plan that just isn’t a reliable overview of the equipment programme’s affordability.

"We’re disappointed that not only are the same problems we’re used to seeing on display here, but they also appear to be getting worse. Despite a budget increase, this year’s Plan shows a clear deterioration in affordability.

"The MoD must get to a better grip, or it won’t be able to deliver the military capabilities our country needs."

An MoD spokesperson said: “Our Armed Forces stand ready to protect the UK and as a leading contributor to NATO, we continue to defend our national interests and those of our allies.

“We are delivering the capabilities our forces need – significantly increasing spending on defence equipment to £288.6 billion over the next decade, introducing a new procurement model to improve acquisition, and confirming our aspiration to spend 2.5% GDP on defence.

“By maintaining part of our equipment plan as uncommitted spend, we have the flexibility to better adapt to changing technology and emerging threats.”