Government boosts defence spending by £12bn

23 Nov 15

The government is to invest a total of £178bn in defence equipment as part of its 10-year Strategic Defence and Security review, which will increase funding by £12bn more than originally intended.

Setting out the results of the review ahead of the government’s Spending Review on Wednesday, Prime Minister David Cameron said the first step in the defence strategy was to ensure that the UK economy remained strong.

“Over the last five years we have taken the difficult decisions needed to bring down our deficit and restore our economy to strength,” he said.

“In 2010, the total black hole in the defence budget alone was bigger than the entire defence budget in that year. Now it is back in balance.

“By sticking to our long-term economic plan, Britain has become the fastest growing major advanced economy in the world for the last two years. Our renewed economic security means we can afford to invest further in our national security.”

The higher defence spending comes as a result of the government’s pledge to meet the NATO target of spending 2% of gross domestic product on defence.

Cameron said the additional funding was vital at a time when threats to the UK were growing, such as the rise of so-called Islamic State, the crisis in Ukraine and the risk of pandemics.

“So while every government must choose how to spend the money it has available, every penny of which is hard-earned by taxpayers, this government has taken a clear decision to invest in our security and safeguard our prosperity.”

Key areas in the defence plan include a proposal to buy nine new Boeing P8 maritime patrol aircraft, while two new rapid reaction army “strike brigades” will be created by 2025 for rapid deployment missions.

Ministers will also extend the life of existing Typhoon aircraft for another decade.

Did you enjoy this article?