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Europe’s biggest defence spender

Last week saw the Government announce the biggest programme of investment in British defence since the end of the Cold War with a £16.5 billion increase above existing commitments, spread over four years, and the promise of thousands of new jobs.

The Government is looking to invest in cutting-edge technology and will be setting up new agencies dedicated to artificial intelligence, cyber security and space.

This increase was much larger than many analysts had expected and is the biggest in defence spending since the early 1980s, under the Thatcher Government.

While this investment and commitment has been welcomed, especially in terms of cyber-protection, will it be well spent? The Ministry of Defence is renowned for waste and currently has a budget shortfall of over £13bn.

Here's hoping that this massive increase in spending, at a time of real economic stress, will be better managed or this settlement, as some critics have suggested, could end up being little more than a ‘reward for bad management'.

Neil Tyler

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