The UK’s Defence Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has announced a significant increase in funding for the Ministry of Defence, as well as additional support for veterans.
Hunt revealed that the government will be committing £5 billion to the defence budget over the next two years, with an additional £11 billion being allocated over the next five years.
This funding will take the UK’s defence spending to almost 2.25% of GDP, with Hunt stating that the government’s long-term plan is to raise it to 2.5% when fiscal circumstances allow.
The announcement comes after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s visit to the United States to announce a new defence pact with the US and Australia.
Hunt also announced an additional £33 million in funding for veterans’ support, which he said is the “biggest financial commitment from the Treasury to veterans affairs in UK history.”
This will include increased availability of veterans’ housing and support for those returning from service with injuries.
The Chancellor said that he was “proud” that the UK is providing more military support to Ukraine than any other European country. The new funding announcement follows a previous announcement over the weekend of an extra £5 billion in defence spending.
The government has faced criticism in recent years over its level of support for the armed forces and veterans. The new funding is expected to be welcomed by those who have been campaigning for increased investment in defence and support for veterans.
Hunt said: “This is a significant investment in our national security, providing the Armed Forces with the resources they need to keep us safe. It is also a clear demonstration of our commitment to supporting our brave servicemen and women, both during and after their service.”