Massive £5bn defence spending boost confirmed in Spring Budget 2023 | The Sun

A MASSIVE £5billion boost to defence spending has been confirmed in today's Budget.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt unveiled the whopping injection of cash into the military pot, which will be split up over the next two years.

The pledge was initially made last week by PM Rishi Sunak during a meeting with US President Biden and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to discuss the Aukus submarine pact.

He said that the cash bump will "fortify our national defences" in the face of Russian aggression in Europe and the looming threat from China.

Of the new money, £3billion will be spent supporting Aukus, which was signed in 2021 to counter Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

The remaining £1.9billion is set to be used to replenish the UK's weapons stockpile, particularly replacing arms sent to Ukraine to fight Putin's brutal invasion.


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Added to the already-planned growth in defence spending, this will mean that £11billion is added to the defence budget over the next five years.

Mr Hunt revealed today that this will include an extra £33million to support veterans, including re-entry into the workforce and greater availability of housing.

What new measures have been announced in today's Budget? Everything you need to know:

  • Britain is set to avoid recession this year AND inflation will tumble to just 2.9 per cent
  • Local councils will receive £200m to fix potholes in a major win for motorists;
  • Massive £5bn boost to defence spending confirmed;
  • Fuel duty frozen for the13th year in a row AND the 5p cut has been kept in huge win for the Sun's Sun's Keep it Down campaign;
  • Alcohol duty rates is set to rise in line with inflation, hitting punters in the pocket;
  • But the Chancellor will cut the duty charged on draught pints in pubs across the UK by 11p in August;
  • Energy companies will not be allowed to charge people with prepayment meters extra fees from July 1, bringing them in line with Direct Debit users;
  • Households on benefits and receiving state pension will get a payment boost next month with the uprating of benefits set to go ahead in April;
  • Millions of households will save £160 on energy bills after the Energy Price Guarantee that freezes the average bill at £2,500 will be extended to July;
  • Government will start paying childcare costs up front for those on Universal Credit;
  • The minimum amount claimants must work before having to engage with government jobs coaches is set to rise from 15 to 18 hours per week.

The Government also has an "aspiration" to hike defence spending to 2.5% of GDP going forward.

This would be an increase on the estimated 2.2% spent in 2021, according to the World Bank, and well above the NATO required 2%, but is still down on the 3% pledged by Mr Sunak's predecessor Liz Truss.

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Defence expenditure will then be reviewed again in 2025.

Mr Hunt also announced measures to ease the burden of the cost of living crisis.

These included a ban on energy companies charging customers on prepayment meters extra, as well as increasing the childcare assistance for Universal Credit recipients.

But those on benefits who can work but refuse to do so will face tougher sanctions and be told their payments will be slashed — no ifs or buts.

A Treasury source said: “If you can work, but refuse a job offer, that’s not on and your benefits will be reduced — no matter where you live or which job centre you use.”

The Chancellor also earmarked £200million for local councils, which will be used to fix the vast backlog of unfilled potholes on minor rural and residential roads.

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