Members and allies of the Peace Pledge Union are calling for the vast amounts of money wasted on military budgets to be reallocated to tackling Covid 19 and related threats and problems.
Many people are now writing to their MPs about the issue. You can find your MP's email address on Parliament's website.
If you recieve a response from your MP, please let us know! You can send the response on to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us on 020 7424 9444.
In writing to your MP, you might find the following facts and figures helpful, as well as our page on Covid 19 and the Healthcare Not Warfare campaign.
- The UK Government has the seventh highest military budget in the world.
- Not only is the military budget large and wasteful in itself, it is not even managed efficiently. There is a shortfall of around £13bn in the military equipment budget, meaning the Ministry of "Defence" wastes even moer taxpayers’ money. For example, a 100-bed hospital ship will not be replaced or updated after 2024.
- Money spent on military campaigns could fund thousands of health and social care jobs.
- The value of UK export licenses for arms to Saudi Arabia since Saudi forces began their attacks on Yemen is over £5.3bn.
- Export of British-made arms to Saudi Arabia officially stopped in summer 2019 following a Court of Appeal ruling but the UK government later had to apologise for several violations of the ruling, which saw continued arms sales from the UK to the Saudi regime. British ministers are appealling against the court's judgement. Meanwhile, UK troops continue to train Saudi forces.
- The UK's Ministry of "Defence" is the second largest customer of BAE Systems (£3.9bn spent in 2019).
- Public health funding has been cut by £700million.
- The UK government has spent £10.4bn on 48 F35 fighter jets. They are committed to buying another 90.
- In 2010, 2015 and 2018 the UK government has identified pandemic disease as a threat to security.
- There is a severe shortage of Personal Protective Equipment available for health and social care staff. Schools have been asked to donate safety goggles and many health professionals are buying their own supplies at inflated prices.
- A recently leaked Public Health England document indicate that single-use medical PPE could be reused.
You might also find it helpful to read the Peace Pledge Union briefing on the wider issues around military spending and recruitment.