Defence Votes A

34.15In addition to the ordinary defence Estimates, the Secretary of State for Defence presents each February the ‘Defence Votes A’ for the Navy, Army and Air Force. These seek parliamentary authority to maintain during the following financial year the total numbers of officers and of men and women of other ranks expected to serve in each regular armed force and, in accordance with the provisions of the Reserve Forces Act 1996, for the maximum numbers of officers and of men and women of other ranks to be maintained for service with the reserve armed forces. Parliamentary authority may also be sought for the modification of such limits for the current financial year. The question on motions to provide the authorisation sought in the Defence Votes A is put forthwith on the day set aside for votes on outstanding Estimates not later than 18 March (see para 34.33 ). Reference to the maximum numbers so authorised is usually made in the Supply and Appropriation (Main Estimates) Bill, which also appropriates the expenditure to fund the armed services for the financial year in question.