HC Deb 20 November 1979 vol 974 cc105-6W
Mr. Ernie Ross

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what was the total military expenditure for 1974 to 1979

them are given in the table below:

and the anticipated expenditure for 1983 at constant prices; what proportion of this spending goes to the United Kingdom's commitment in NATO; what proportion of this spending is devoted to nuclear weapons; and what proportion is used to service nuclear weapons.

Mr. Pym

The table below shows defence budget estimates since 1974–75 at constant 1979 survey prices. A defence budget figure for 1983–84 will not be available until the conclusion of the present public expenditure survey:

Defence Budget Estimates (£M)
1974–75 7,760
1975–76 7,949
1976–77 7,981
1977–78 7,719
1978–79 7,666
1979–80 7,900

During this period approximately 90 per cent. of defence expenditure has been devoted to our forces deployed in the NATO area and about 5 per cent. to our forces stationed elsewhere. The balance of expenditure is for Service pensions, which does not relate to the current defence effort and cannot, therefore, be realistically allocated between NATO and non-NATO forces. Over the same period between 1 per cent. and 1½ per cent. of defence expenditure has been devoted to running the nuclear strategic force.