Alternatives to the Cuts: Welfare not Warfare

This post is part of a series of posts detailing alternatives to the cuts and austerity agenda of the ConDem coalition. You can find other posts on alternatives in our archive or on the excellent False Economy website. This post looks at the cost of war and asks whether we need to be cutting public services when we spend billions every year on bombs and guns.

In March 2010, we had spent at least £20bn on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – a figure which includes the additional expenditure but does not include things like the basic salaries of the soldiers, since it is assumed this would be paid anyway.

That’s over £2bn a year. This is around half of the amount the coalition is trying to cut from benefits for people with disabilities.

The war in Libya earlier this year is estimated to have cost £1.75bn.

The total MOD budget for 2009/10 was £35bn – this does not include additional funding from the treasury for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The armed forces are facing cuts, with £10bn less over the next 4 years. However, Trident is still planned to be renewed at a cost of £15bn-£20bn according to the Government and up to £100bn according to CND. Neither estimate makes it clear what time period this would be spent over, but it is reasonable to assume that a large portion of this would be spent at the start on building new submarines, missiles and nuclear warheads.

There are also rumours of possible military intervention in Syria, where uprisings against the government continue, and war in Iran. From an anti-cuts perspective, these wars should not happen. Amongst all the other reasons to oppose aggressive military action, it is not acceptable for a government to say that we must severely cut spending on benefits, services, pay and pensions whilst at the same time spending billions of pounds on war.

(c) Geoff Dexter Sherbourne Publications

In 2012, they plan to cut around £5bn from the welfare budget, hitting disabled and elderly people the hardest, through cuts in benefits and winter fuel allowances.
In 2011, they spent around £4bn on war in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
In 2012, they will spend around £2bn in Iraq and Afghanistan, and if we allow them to take action in Syria or Iran, this number will easily double.

The similarity of these figures brings alive the old slogan “welfare not warfare”

Stop The War Coalition have been campaigning on the issue of war for many years. They have a demonstration on Saturday in London against military intervention in Iran and Syria. A coach is running from Birmingham, leaving Carrs Lane Church at 10am.
£12 waged / £8 unwaged
Contact Birmingham Stop the War via Facebook Event or Facebook Page or call Stuart on 07771567496 to book a seat

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2 Comments

Filed under Alternatives to Cuts, Cuts, Events

2 responses to “Alternatives to the Cuts: Welfare not Warfare

  1. Pingback: Alternatives: Scrap Trident | Birmingham Against The Cuts

  2. Pingback: 2012: The Year Austerity Economics Started To Unravel | Birmingham Against The Cuts

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