Australia's new government to boost defence spending

09 September 2013

Australia's incoming coalition government has undertaken to increase defence expenditure from the current level of 1.59% of gross domestic product (GDP) to 2% over the next decade, but will delay signing off on several key acquisition programmes.

The promised spending boost was detailed in a defence policy document released just days before the Liberal-National Parties' electoral victory over the incumbent Australian Labor Party on 7 September. The plans would see annual defence spending rise from AUD25.4 billion (USD23.3 billion) in 2013-14 to more than AUD32 billion should the Coalition still be in power in 10 years' time.

Stressing its unequivocal commitment to Australia's alliance with the United States, the document referred to "growing American perceptions" that the outgoing government had been freeloading on the United States for Australia's defence.

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