here click on "Spending money on defence is vital":
Swiss Des" said:Sir - You accuse the Government of decreasing the amount spent on defence (reports, January 20 and 22).
The truth is that, over the past five annual budgets set by this Government, defence spending has risen by about £1 billion every year. Defence spending, at more than £30 billion a year, is now far higher in real terms than it was under the last Tory government. This does not include the money spent on operations, which comes from the Treasury reserve fund.
Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, appears to have forgotten that it was his party that cut the defence budget when it was in office. The Tories cut it in half as a percentage between the Falklands and 1997. During the last five years of the last Conservative government, the defence budget was not just falling as a percentage of GDP, but being slashed in real terms, by around £500 million a year.
If the Tories are saying that they believe more financial resources should be spent on defence, then let them spell out clearly just how much more money they would spend.
I suspect that they will not do so, because, as in so many areas of Conservative policy, they do not have clear and costed plans.
Des Browne, Secretary of State for Defence, London SW1