Defence Expenditure

In terms of Gross Domestic Product UK defence spending was 2.85% of GDP in 2000. But since the Conservative government came to power, defence spending has been in steady decline, breaking below 2.4 percent GDP in 2016.

The Government praises our armed forces in public but stabs them in the back in private.

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UK defence spending in 2000 (GDP)

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UK defence spending in 2016 (GDP)

Government’s Plan

The Ministry of Defence is intending to sell 30% of its built on land (barracks etc). Whilst this will release public sector land for 55,000 new homes to be built, it will make any future enlargement of the armed forces difficult and expensive as there will be no barracks to accommodate the personnel and new one would have to be built.

Because the Ministry of defence has failed to apply HM Treasury rules properly the Treasury has imposed a £31.6 million fine on the MoD!

The Army is tasked with reducing personnel numbers to 82,000 by 2018, down from 102,500 in 2010. The army’s tanks have been cut by 40 per cent and so Britain now has fewer tanks than Switzerland, and there has been a 35 per cent cut in self-propelled artillery.

Together, the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy have suffered more than 10,000 job losses, the Ministry of Defence is now planning to sell HMS Ocean, HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark, thereby ending the UK’s ability to conduct amphibious landings and around 1,000 Royal Marines are likely to be axed (one sixth of the entire Royal Marine force).

These cuts have demoralised our Armed Forces and left the nation unprepared to face emerging threats.

UKIP’s Policy

UKIP would phase in increased defence spending in its first five years in power, up to an additional £5 billion by 2027.

We will rebuild our Armed Forces and restore them to their rightful place among the most professional, flexible and effective fighting forces in the world, able to meet the security demands of the modern era and react appropriately to any threat that the UK faces both now and in the future.

Henry Bolton OBE, Leader of UKIP and Shadow Cabinet Spokesperson for Defence

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FOR THE BIG DEBATES