Lindsey German: Massive budget hikes for the military are done in the name of ‘security’ at a time when the British government is refusing health workers and teachers a decent wage

Not enough! That’s the response of a number of Tory MPs to the announcement of another £5billion worth of spending on defence announced by Rishi Sunak today. Tobias Ellwood, chair of the Commons Defence Committee, even claimed that Russia and China would be ‘breathing a sigh of relief’ that the actual figure wasn’t £10 billion.

Yet Britain’s defence spending is the highest in Europe and is up there among the big spenders worldwide. We already spend over 2% of our total GDP on this area, committed to rise to 2.5% in the future. And, unlike most other areas of public spending, government commitments ensure that it is index linked above inflation.

The meeting today in San Diego is to strengthen the AUKUS Pact, providing nuclear powered submarines to Australia, as part of the growing militarisation of the Pacific. The increase in military spending, the provision of new and dangerous weapons, and the increasingly belligerent language surrounding the new cold war with China, are only fuelling the threat of war, not containing it. Indeed, the peace proposal over Ukraine put by China in recent weeks has been all but ignored by the NATO powers, who prefer to increase spending, spur on the militarisation of Japan and Germany, and raise the likelihood of conflict.

All this is done in the name of ‘security’ at a time when the British government, so fulsome in its extension of military spending, is refusing health workers and teachers a decent wage, is standing by while millions suffer the consequences of inflation, and is scapegoating refugees, many of whom are victims of war.

13 Mar 2023 by Lindsey German

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