Increase in Defence Spending Highlights Tories Warped Priorities
Why is the government spending more money on damaging our climate and appeasing warmongers than on vital public services?
Last week, Sajid Javid’s spending round highlighted a £2.2 billion increase in defence spending - a 2.6% budget increase for the Ministry of Defence over the next fiscal year. The Treasury’s reasoning behind this increase was to ‘ensure they can continue to modernise and meet the ever-changing threats to national security’. Javid also stressed an increase in Britain’s financial commitment to NATO - continuing to exceed the baseline 2%.
Looking more closely at the Spending Round it becomes clear that many public services are still not receiving enough to recover from the cuts delivered during a decade of Conservative and coalition rule. For example, social care is only receiving an increase of £1.5 billion, despite being in critical condition after suffering massively under austerity.
Education is being promised an extra £7.1 billion over the next three years - an average of an additional £2.4 billion per year. This is only marginally more than the allocated spending on defence and certainly not enough to support an education system that is, in the words of one head teacher, ‘cut down to the bone’.
The government has allotted a mere £250 million to environmental conservation which pales in comparison to the MoD's budget increase. Why is the government spending more money on damaging our climate and appeasing warmongers than on vital public services that have been brought to their knees by a decade of Tory austerity?