Saw the underlying graph on Twitter this afternoon, a number of people pointed out that the green ‘other’ category includes the MoD’s budget.
So I thought I would reproduce it here and get the abacus out.
Can someone check my maths?
The 2014/15 Other category is 8.7% of GDP against a total spend of 18% of GDP, the green category therefore represents a proportion of the whole equaling about 48%
Assuming the ring-fenced budgets of Education, NHS and International Development remain constant it is obvious that the remainder will have to make do with an increasingly smaller proportion of total public spending up to 2018/19, when things get slightly better. If those ring fenced budgets remain constant at about 9.3% then if the total in 2018/19 is 14.3% the green box drops from 8.7% to 5.2%.
If the relative proportions within the green box (Defence, Justice etc) remain the same and the other assumption remain valid then each is looking at a pretty large haircut.
The point is well made that you don’t spend percentages but Pounds so an increasing GDP and reducing percent of that may well result in no change to the actual money allocated to defence but with defence inflation at 2.1% in 2013/14, the actual amount available to spend may well be eroded by a combination of increasing defence inflation and decreasing percentage of GDP.
That said, I don’t think you need to be an economist, RUSI, or Mystic Meg, to see tough times ahead for Defence.