skip to main content

UK defence spending to remain above 2% of GDP

UK core defence spending, 2020–33. (Janes)

On 17 November, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt unveiled his Autumn Statement 2022, a package of measures aimed at restoring the country's public finances and reining in inflation. Despite a move towards greater fiscal consolidation, defence spending will not fall below 2% of GDP, in line with the UK's NATO commitments.

Under the new spending plans announced by Hunt, the four-year settlement given to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) during the Spending Review 2020 will be kept largely in place, except for the GBP3.5 billion (USD4.1 billion) amendment to the 2022 core defence budget reflecting military support provided to Ukraine since the beginning of the war with Russia. Core spending is set to fall back in line with original plans in subsequent years, reaching GBP48.4 billion in 2023 and GBP48.6 billion in 2024. According to the government's macroeconomic forecasts, military expenditure in the next three years will be roughly equivalent to around 1.9% of GDP.

Former Prime Minister Liz Truss had pledged to spend 3% of GDP on defence by 2030 following calls from senior figures in the defence establishment, including Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace, for a significant increase in military expenditure in light of the conflict in Ukraine. In his speech to the House of Commons, Hunt also recognised the need to increase defence spending, however, without committing to 3% of GDP. He said that a revision of the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy will be required ahead of any new spending decisions in the next budget.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...