The Morrison Government’s latest Budget is forecasting $4.3 billion in cuts to Defence’s capital acquisition budget over the next three years.
This brings the total cuts to this budget since the release of the 2016 Defence White Paper to $10.4 billion.
Defence has said that $2.4 billion of the cuts in comparison to the 2017-18 Defence Portfolio Budget Statements are due to “subsequent government decisions in response to emerging priorities and Defence budget pressures”.
In other words, the Government has made a series of explicit decisions to cut billions from Defence’s budget for the new weapons and equipment our troops need to do their jobs.
This is all happening at a time of rising tensions in our region.
The Government loves bragging about investment in new Defence equipment but the reality is they have been cutting billions from Defence’s capital budget.
How can Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton claim the Government has the troops’ backs when they have cut the budget to purchase military equipment by 18 per cent?
This constant cutting breaks the promises made in the Defence White Paper, meaning that our soldiers, sailors and aircrew are not getting the equipment they need, when they need it.
Minister Dutton’s first act upon becoming Minister for Defence is to cut Defence’s budget to buy new equipment by $2.1 billion this year alone.
This is another example of the Government making a grand announcement, then completely failing to deliver.