Conservatives dangerously cut defence spendingWatch
Under the Labour government of 1997-2010, Defence spending rose from 25 billion to 43 billion a year. Even during the years of the financial crisis, Labour continued to increase defence spending as it is vital we retain our capabilities and not experience a further decline.
When the Conservatives entered government, they used their 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review as an excuse to implement swingeing and completely unjustifiable cuts. When the Conservatives said that Labour had left a 35 billion black hole in the defence budget, what they actually meant was they calculated the difference between what Labour had spent on defence and what the Conservatives would want spend on defence (7 billion less under the Cons), multiplied it by 5 and called it a black hole.
This year, the defence budget is 36 billion pounds, 7 billion lower than under the last year of the Labour government. Tens of thousands have been made redundant, and vital skills have been lost forever.
In 2010, we had 191,000 personnel in he Armed Forces and spent 2.97% of GDP on defence. Now there are 156,000 in the Armed Forces the Tories won't even promise to maintain 2% of GDP. They have dangerously undermined our defence, and stabbed in the back thousands of soldiers, sailers and airmen by making them redundant. Under the Conservatives, for the first time since the 1920s, we have no carrier capability whatsoever.
Just like the economy (with 3 million unemployed under Thatcher, Black Wednesday, and in this parliament economic stagnation up to mid-2013 and the failure to get spending under control in this parliament, and now their out of control unfunded spending commitments), the Tories cannot be trusted on defence. Last time they were in power they dangerously withdrew ships from the south Atlantic and implemented defence cuts that were an invitation to the Argentines to invade
What other betrayals will we see if they are re-elected? For a stronger defence, more sensible fiscal policy and a fairer economy, the only serious choice is Labour.