Andrew Mobbs (mobbsy) wrote,
Andrew Mobbs

According to the SIPRI military spending database, the UK sustained military spending at around 2.5% of GDP for the whole of the 1997-2008 period of Labour government (no %GDP data for 2009), which gave an inflation adjusted increase of 27% in spending from 1997 to 2009.

The Telegraph is reporting that "Officials believe that defence spending could fall as low as 1.7 per cent of GDP."

As I pointed out a couple of months ago, the Conservatives' pre-election rhetoric was rather different to the current policy.

Compare what Liam Fox said in March about the Royal Navy:
Time and time again, since the 1998 Strategic Defence Review, our Navy has been blackmailed into accepting cuts to its fleet to ensure the eventual addition of the two new carriers.
During the 1998 SDR process, our Navy agreed to cut its fleet of 12 attack submarines to 10 and its fleet of 35 destroyers and frigates to 32 - in return for the promise of the two carriers.

A decade later we find our Navy with only 8 attack submarines (with a probable future reduction to only 6 or 7) and an astonishingly low 22 destroyers and frigates.

Maritime commitments have not decreased since 1998 but have risen at a time when our Navy has been slashed, mothballed, and in some cases, sold off.
to the recent rumours that the navy would be cut to just 25 ships.

OK, so that NAO Major Projects Reports consistently criticised the MoD for overspend, delays and poor procurement policies. Labour may have over-spent and made poor decisions on delaying projects that increased overall costs; however, they can't be reasonably accused of under-funding the military by a government that's about to make significant cuts.

The irony of it all is that a large part of the increases in spending under Labour were in the NHS, which the coalition has protected from cuts. This means we effectively have a mainly Tory government cutting military spending from Labour's levels to fund health spending. I for one am very confused.

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