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Defence Spend A Sham

Jim Anderton's announcement that the Alliance will not support increased defence expenditure, in the far-fetched scenario that they are part of another Government, proves conclusively that the Defence Plan is a sham, ACT Defence Spokesman Owen Jennings said today.

“The fact is that more than ninety per cent of the so-called spend-up will come after the next election,” Owen Jennings said.

“Anderton’s dire comments show a total lack of understanding of the feelings of New Zealanders. He demonstrates a heartlessness toward defence personnel who have been willing to carry all of the risks inherent in war.

“The figures released in the Defence Plan show a drop in defence expenditure, not an increase. In the last term, Defence spent $299 m, $230 m and $317 m on new equipment. In the new Plan, the Government only plans to spend $177 m, $162 m and $211 m on new equipment in this term, and $243 m, $256 m and $54 m in the next term.

“That is a massive drop.

“Even the supposed increase in base-line funding shows increases less than the impact of inflation.

“If Jim Anderton truly stands by his comment that 'increased spending on defence over the next ten years is so high that it will need to be reviewed by a future government', then the people of New Zealand will simply strengthen their resolve to vote Alliance and Labour out of Government.

“And if he can't see that the defence announcement is really a cut, then I have grave fears regarding what he would call a profit if the Kiwi Bank goes ahead,” Owen Jennings said.


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