§ Mr. Jim Marshall
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will give as a percentage defence expenditure compared to gross domestic product for the period 1979 to 1983 and for the period 1989 to 1993; and if he will make a statement on the implications for the long-term defence of the United Kingdom.
§ Mr. Hanley
The information requested is as follows:
Defence expenditure as a percentage of GDP Percent 1977–78 4.6 1978–79 4.5 1979–80 4.6 1980–81 4.9 1981–82 5.0 1982–83 5.2 1983–84 5.2 1989–90 4.0
Percent 1990–91 4.0 1991–92 4.2 1992–93 3.9 1993–94 (forecast) 3.7
- 1. Figures include exceptional expenditure on Falklands/Gulf conflict but exclude Gulf burdensharing contributions from other Governments
- 2. Figures from 1978–79 take account of the technical changes in the treatment of Armed Forces and civilian pensions.
The Government does not consider any fixed percentage of GDP as being appropriate for defence expenditure. As we demonstrated in "Defending Our Future" the 1993 Statement on the Defence Estimates, defence spending is set at a level which balances commitments, capabilities and the availability of resources.