Source: Union of Peace Pledges
As Liz Truss becomes Prime Minister today, she faces calls to say where she will find the money for her plan to increase military spending by 60%.
The Peace Pledge Union (PPU), Britain’s main peace network, has urged Truss to say whether it will raise taxes or cut other public spending to fund rising military spending. Truss pledged to increase military spending to that level by the end of the decade, but gave no details on how she will fund the plan.
The PPU said the new prime minister was promising huge handouts to arms dealers amid a cost-of-living crisis. They described the policy as an insult to anyone struggling with energy bills and the rising cost of living.
A study published last week by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) found that Truss’ pledge to increase ‘defense’ spending to 3% of national income by 2030 represents a 60% increase on current levels and will cost £157bn. RUSI’s research suggested the amount at issue amounted to an additional 5 pence in the pound income tax.
The UK already has the fourth highest military expenditure in the world. Less than two years ago, Boris Johnson announced the biggest increase in British military spending since the Cold War. PPU members are planning protests against military spending in the coming weeks and months.
Symon Hill, Campaigns Manager at the Peace Pledge Union, said: “Liz Truss urgently needs to explain where she’s going to find £157bn. She says she doesn’t believe in donations, but she’s willing to give a huge gift to generals.If you care about your energy bills or struggle to feed your children, aircraft carriers and nuclear missiles won’t make your life any safer. higher military will protect is the profits of arms dealers.
“The UK already has the fourth highest military spending in the world. Liz Truss and the chiefs of the armed forces insult the Ukrainian people by using their suffering as an excuse to increase military spending. But the war in Ukraine cannot be ended only through international negotiations and long-term peacebuilding. In reality, only a relatively small percentage of British military spending has anything to do with Ukraine.
The PPU pointed out that while British ministers rightly condemn Russian atrocities in Ukraine, they are providing military training and weapons to Saudi forces attacking civilians in Yemen in the same way that Russian forces attack civilians in Ukraine.
The Peace Pledge Union condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as soon as it began, on February 24, 2022. As the UK chapter of War Resisters’ International, the Peace Pledge Union works with pacifists and other anti-war activists around the world. Throughout the Ukrainian crisis, the PPU remained in regular contact with the Ukrainian Peace Movement and with Russian anti-war activists.
Union of Peace Pledges – www.ppu.org.uk/about-us