Back to top

Budget: Another £1bn for the armed forces won't make us safer

British troops in training

Budget: Another £1bn for the armed forces won't make us safer

The Peace Pledge Union (PPU) has said that the Chancellor's announcement of another £1bn for the armed forces reveals a government in denial about the failure of armed force to achieve its stated aims. This is despite the recent disastrous and counter-productive wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

The UK already has the seventh highest military expenditure in the world.

The Chancellor said that the extra billion would contribute to the Trident nuclear weapons system, which he described as "a deterrent that allows us to sleep easy in our beds".

The PPU said that increased military spending would make nobody any safer. They added that the money could be better spent tackling root causes of insecurity such as poverty, climate change and imbalances of power.

Peace Pledge Union spokesperson Symon Hill said:

“After the disasters of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, it is extremely naïve to suggest that more weapons will make us safer. They will only make the world less safe. Climate change poses perhaps the biggest threat to human security, but rather than tackling it the UK establishment is still living in an antiquated world in which safety comes with guns and bombs.

“The government’s ability to kill millions of people at the touch of a button does not make sleep easily. There is something grotesque about an attitude that regards the presence of weapons of mass destruction as a reason to feel relaxed. They only encourage the governments of more and more countries to develop similar weapons, while diverting vital resources from real needs."

The Peace Pledge Union (PPU) is a UK-based pacifist network. PPU members pledge not to support war and to work instead for the removal of  the causes of war. The PPU’s work includes promoting peacebuilding and active nonviolence, challenging militarism, providing educational resources on peace and encouraging remembrance for all victims of war. Founded in 1934, the PPU is the oldest secular pacifist organisation in the UK.