PM Defends Military Spending Record By Peter Spencer Political Correspondent Updated:14:55, Friday December 21, 2007 Gordon Brown has defended his record on military spending, both as Chancellor and as Prime Minister. He insisted troops deserved "nothing but the best" kit, and he was determined they would get it. And, in his Christmas interview with British Forces Broadcasting Service, he said it was "totally unfair" to portray him as being uninterested in the military. His words follow a concerted attack in the House of Lords last month by five former military chiefs. One, the former Chief of the Defence Staff, Lord Guthrie, accused him of being "unsympathetic" towards the forces during his time at number eleven. But Mr Brown contrasted year on year real-terms increases in immediate prospect with 20 per cent cuts in the early 1990s. Advertisement Click to learn more... And, he added, "I think the evidence on the ground is that the equipment people have is a lot better than it was a few years ago. Of course, we want it to be even better in future years as well." He also pointed to armed forces pay settlements being in many cases "higher than public sector pay at home, and rightly so". And he insisted the government was responding to pleas from troops in Iraq and Afghanistan for more armoured vehicles and helicopters, which he admitted were a weakness. But Mr Brown made it clear military chiefs would not get carte blanche to call on new money when competing with other departments, like health and education. Nonetheless he paid fulsome tribute to the troops in the field, for their "sheer bravery and dedication and professionalism and commitment". The Prime Minister also acknowledged the recent victory in Musa Qala where: "we turned back the Taliban as a result of the bravery of our forces", with the support of Afghan government troops.