Reduce Military Spending

Clayton's Cut for Defence

Media Release. May 8, 2011

Confronted by a sustained campaign by peace groups around the country for a reduction in Australia's excessive military spending, and polls showing most Australians don't want more taxes going to defence, the Government is under pressure to tighten its military belt. However, if all we get is the $300 million over 3 years announced yesterday, the cut is a token gesture that won't deceive many taxpayers.

"The cuts announced are a sham for several reasons," said Denis Doherty, spokesperson for the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign.

"The cut of $300 million over three years is less than two days worth of military spending.

“It is part of the $20 billion efficiency drive announced last year. And it will not affect the three to four per cent annual increase to defence spending guaranteed for 20 years from 2009."

"The saving is purely at the expense of growth in the department's civilian jobs, putting pressure on Defence's public servants to increase productivity but not on capability and big weapons procurement.

“Public servants, not the big arms manufacturers, will have to wear this token cut, while areas of essential human need such as medical research, environment and housing face massive cuts.

“This is unacceptable,” Denis Doherty said.

"The Government would rather attack teen mothers than take real action on Australia's exorbitant military spending.

"Australia's spending on the military for the current financial year is $32 billion, which makes us the14th biggest spender on the military in the world and the 6th largest pre capita.

“Australian military expenditure is between nine and ten per cent of Federal Government outlays. It equals and sometimes surpasses what we spend federally on education

“We need real cuts to the military budget and an end to the quarantining of the military from cuts to its budget,” Mr Doherty said.

“Every other department of the Government has to argue for their resources yet the military gets off scot free!"

For more information

Contact: Denis Doherty 0418 290 663

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