Campaign Against Arms Trade has urged the government to rethink its priorities following the announcement that it will be increasing the military budget by an extra £16 billion over the next four years. The Ministry of Defence budget is around £40 billion per year, so this represents a 10% increase.
Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said:
“This is a totally inappropriate response to the pandemic. Only a matter of days ago the government was telling us that there wasn’t enough money to feed hungry school students during the holidays, but now it has found an extra £16 billion to add to what was already one of the biggest military budgets in the world.
COVID has exposed the impact of cuts and austerity. It is essential that the economy is rebuilt, but that should be based on sustainable jobs and industries that can help to create a stronger, greener and safer economy. The money should be used to build the green jobs that we need, and to fund the goods and services that we all rely on. It should not be used to buy evermore complex and deadly weapon systems.
For far too long, UK security policy has been focused on military solutions, foreign wars of aggression and hypocritical and dangerous partnerships with human rights abusing regimes. These policies have caused a great deal of damage and have done nothing to keep us safe from many of the biggest threats, such as pandemics and climate change.
The government should reconsider its priorities. Our security is not advanced by throwing money at the military. It is strengthened by building fairer societies that support the most vulnerable, and by investing in our public services.”