In last summer’s Budget the government committed to increase defence spending by 0.5% above inflation every year until 2021 and continue to meet NATO’s target to spend 2% of GDP on defence for the rest of the decade.
1 April 2016 marks the first day that these commitments come into effect with the core defence budget increasing by £800m from the 2015/16 baseline of £34.3bn to £35.1bn. In addition, the MOD will receive £2.1bn from the Joint Security Fund by the end of this Parliament. This means the Defence budget will increase by nearly £5bn to £39.7bn in 2020/21.
The UK has the 2nd largest budget in NATO, the largest in the EU, and the fifth largest in the world. It is one of only five countries that meets the NATO guideline to spend 2% of GDP on Defence.
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Welcoming the new budget, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
“Nothing is more important than defending our country and protecting our people. With increasing threats to our security, we have chosen to increase defence spending and give our Armed Forces what they need to keep Britain safe.”