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Defence: Finance

Volume 481: debated on Monday 27 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of gross domestic product was spent on defence (a) including the cost of military operations and (b) excluding the cost of operations in each year since 1997; and what forecast he has made of the proportions to be so spent in each year to 2011. (230157)

Using audited outturn figures drawn from Ministry of Defence annual reports and accounts, historic figures are set out in table 1 as follows.

Table 1

Percentage GDP including cost of operations

Percentage GDP excluding cost of operations

1997-98

2.6

2.6

1998-99

2.8

2.8

1999-2000

2.7

2.7

2000-01

2.6

2.6

2001-02

2.5

2.5

2002-03

2.5

2.4

2003-04

2.5

2.4

2004-05

2.8

2.7

2005-06

2.7

2.5

2006-07

2.6

2.4

2007-08 (estimated)

2.6

2.4

Note:

Figures to 2003-04 are calculated on a cash/near cash basis; from 2004-05 onwards they are calculated using total DEL.

Figures for expenditure on defence (defined according to the UN’s Classification of Function of Government Function (COFOG) category) are published in HM Treasury’s Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses, as set out at table 2. These figures include the additional costs of military operations but do not separately identify these costs.

Table 2

Percentage of GDP (outturn)

1997-98

2.6

1998-99

2.8

1999-2000

2.7

2000-01

2.6

2001-02

2.5

2002-03

2.5

2003-04

2.5

2004-05

2.5

2005-06

2.5

2006-07

2.4

2007-08 (estimated)

2.4

Our latest forecast for the additional cost of operations will be set out in the Winter Supplementary Estimates. We do not publish forecasts for the additional cost of operations in future years or by proportion of GDP.