Back to top

Javid's extra billions for 'defence' won't make us safer

UK army recruits in training

Javid's extra billions for 'defence' won't make us safer

The Peace Pledge Union has said that an extra £2.2bn for "defence" will fuel war while diverting money from real needs.

Sajid Javid, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, made the commitment in his Spending Review this week. The Peace Pledge Union (PPU) pointed out that "defence" is generally a euphemism for war and preparations for war.

It has been reported that Boris Johnson intervened ahead of the Spending Review to raise the size of the budget increase that Javid had initially planned for "defence". This has been attributed in part to his desire to please US President Donald Trump, who has long wanted NATO members to spend even more on preparations for war.

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

The PPU said this week that armed forces do not make us any safer. They urged the government to spend money on tackling the root causes of insecurity and violence, such as poverty and climate change, and meeting people's everyday needs, such as through funding for the National Health Service.

PPU Campaigns Manager Symon Hill said:

"Are British taxpayers now expected to spend billions of pounds on pleasing Donald Trump? If you're struggling to pay the bills, heat your home or buy clothes for your children, Boris Johnson offers to make your life more secure by spending more money on weapons.

"After the disastrous and wasteful wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, millions of people in Britain are well aware that you can't solve deep seated problems with bombs. But Boris Johnson and Sajid Javid still seem to believe that they can sort out the world's problems with violence. Sadly, some keep repeating the Roman Empire's discredited slogan, 'If you want peace, prepare for war'. History shows time and again that if you prepare for war, you are likely to get what you have prepared for."