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Truss challenged over uncosted plan for military spending hike

Liz Tuss wearing military uniform and sitting in a tank

Truss challenged over uncosted plan for military spending hike

As Liz Truss becomes Prime Minister today, she is facing calls to say where she will find the money for her plan of increasing military spending by 60%.

The Peace Pledge Union (PPU), Britain’s leading pacifist network, urged Truss to say whether she will raise taxes or cut other areas of public spending to fund the military spending hike. Truss has pledged to raise military spending so that it will reach this level by the end of the decade, but has given no details of how she will fund this plan.

The PPU said that the new Prime Minister is promising a huge handout for arms dealers in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis. They described the policy as an insult to everyone struggling with energy bills and rising living costs.

Research published last week by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) found that Truss’ promise of raising ‘defence’ spending to 3% of national income by 2030 represents a 60% increase on current levels and will cost £157bn.

RUSI's research suggested that the amount involved was equivalent to an extra 5p in the pound on Income Tax.

The UK already has the fourth highest military spending in the world. Less than two years ago, Boris Johnson announced the biggest increase in UK military spending since the Cold War.

PPU members are planning protests against military spending in the coming weeks and months.

Symon Hill, Campaigns Manager of the Peace Pledge Union, said:

Liz Truss urgently needs to explain where she is going to find £157bn. She says she doesn’t believe in handouts, but she is ready to offer a massive handout to generals and arms dealers. If you’re worrying about energy bills or struggling to feed your children, then aircraft carriers and nuclear missiles are not going to make your life more secure. The only thing that higher military spending will protect is the profits of arms dealers.

"The UK already has the fourth highest military spending in the world. Liz Truss and the leaders of the armed forces are insulting the people of Ukraine by using their suffering as an excuse for higher military spending. But the Ukraine war can 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 UK ministers rightly condemn Russian atrocities in Ukraine, they are providing military training and weapons to the Saudi forces who are attacking civilians in Yemen in much the same way that Russian forces are attacking civilians in Ukraine.

The Peace Pledge Union condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine as soon as it began, on 24 February 2022. As the British section of War Resisters' International, the Peace Pledge Union works with pacifists and other anti-war campaigners around the world. Throughout the Ukraine crisis, the PPU has remained in regular contact with the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement and with Russian anti-war activists.


The Peace Pledge Union unites people who pledge to reject war and to tackle the causes of war. We are the British section of War Resisters' International. Join us!