U.K. Set to Cut Defense Expenditure

Published By : 10 Mar 2015 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

Military analysts in the United Kingdom have predicted a dire outlook for defense spending allocation in upcoming United Kingdom budgets. Even in the most optimistic of circumstances, the defense ministry may have to corral up to GBP35 billion (close to US$52.8 billion) in savings till the middle of the next decade. A more realistic figure lies around GBP55 billion, although the situation go as far as the UK Ministry of Defense having to find savings of up to GBP74 billion in the next ten years. The latter is close to the defense expenditure cuts put into action by the Conservative government in 2010.

The grim situation for defense spending was described in a new report by Malcolm Chalmers, research director at the Royal United Services Institute. The situation will remain the same regardless of which party comes into power following the general elections in May, thanks to the bipartisan support for the ongoing austerity programs.

The fears over the impending defense cuts were far from allayed after a TV interview of British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond. In an enlightening interview, Hammond repeatedly refused to categorically rule out cuts in defense spending. A lack of a firm stand against cuts, in these circles, is considered to be tantamount to a complicit support.

The pessimistic view towards the future of defense expenditure in the United Kingdom considers a 10% loss in real-terms over the next four years. These figures are based on an analysis of the planned spending of the three major political parties in the United Kingdom. On the other hand, the optimistic outlook considers equal spending on defense, education, and healthcare. The difference between the two expenditure plans amounts to about GBP4 billion per year till the end of the ongoing decade. This gap will have to be shored up by increasing taxation or, more likely, borrowing the required amount.
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