Ben Wallace grilled by Tobias Ellwood on new defence budget
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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced in his Spring Budget that he had allocated £5billion for the Ministry of Defence across the next two years, totalling £11billion over the course of five years. However, the investment in Britain’s armed forces has been met with criticism — so do you think the UK is spending enough on defence? Vote in our poll.
The investment will increase Britain’s defence spending to almost 2.25 percent of GDP by 2025, but much of this has already been allocated to long-term projects including upgrading nuclear deterrents and replacing equipment stocks after supplies were sent to Ukraine.
Chairman of the Commons Defence Select Committee Tobias Ellwood has slammed the funding, and said: “If ever there was cause to move away from peacetime defence spending it is today.”
He also warned that it could lead to cuts to Britain’s conventional armed forces. He told Express.co.uk: “All smoke and mirrors I’m afraid. I welcome the investment in the nuclear deterrent and the replenishment of weapons stocks but when you take that money out it leaves the MoD with about £1 billion a year which is in effect a real terms cut.”
He continued: “There will be even less when you account for taxes and expenses. It means our conventional forces remain hollowed out as the threats come over the hill.”
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Labour committee member Kevan Jones shared these concerns, and said: “This will actually lead to cuts in the armed forces not expansion.”
Tory MP Colonel James Sunderland said: “It’s a step in the right direction but still may not be enough to future-proof our HM Forces, particularly the Army, against the totality of threats we continue to face in an increasingly unstable world.
“I welcome the commitment to 2.5 percent of GDP – the imperative now is to translate this quickly into operational capability.”
So what do YOU think? Is the UK spending enough on defence? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
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