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What Is National's Air Combat Force Policy?

National's defence spokesman Richard Worth said that National is committed to re-establishing an air combat capability.

"National is sending mixed signals" said SOS spokesman David Dickens.

"National says that it will re-establish the air combat force but does not say when it will do this or how much it will spend" said Dickens

“When Bill English announced National’s defence policy 2 weeks ago he refused to take questions. On last night’s Sunday programme he would give no detail about rebuilding the air combat force beyond waffling on about doing something with Australia. Our suspicion is that National has not even costed the air combat force into its first term in office”.

"National's track record on defence in government during the 1990s was not good. It said it was serious about defence but cut spending on defence from 1.8% of GDP to 1% of GDP" said Dickens.

"For National's defence policy promises to be credible it will have to say that it will increase defence spending to around 1.5% of GDP as soon as it gets into office" said Dickens

"Specifically National needs to promise that it will re-establish the air combat force as soon as it gets into office and say that it will provide the funds needed to do this immediately" said Dickens.

"Otherwise National can not be taken at face value on defence" said Dickens

Inquiries to David Dickens 04 475 4117

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