23 Jul 2013
In a nutshell the Budget for Defence this year wasn’t all bad news. Unlike the disaster of last year, there were no drastic cuts and some of the gaps have been slightly filled.
Last year, all seemed lost. The hopes and promises of the 2009 Defence White Paper had been shattered by the headlong rush to deliver a fiscal surplus. Cuts and deferrals posing as savings and efficiencies had slashed funding for Defence by more than $20 billion in the three short years since 2009. Force 2030 had gone from being a tangible goal to a half forgotten fantasy.
11 Jul 2012
It may appear prosaic at first sight, only New Zealand’s Defence Force budget for 2012/13 is especially subtle this year; arguably even a little deceptive.
26 Jun 2012
The Government will provide $214 million for the next stage of the Future Submarine Project, announced Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare the week before the release of the budget.
2012 is the politically magical year where the government will return to surplus. Indeed the headline figure is a $1.5 billion surplus. But cuts had to come from somewhere and Defence has most definitely played its part.
25 Jun 2012
Defence spending slashed by $5.5 billion … largest year-on-year cut (10 per cent) since our withdrawal from Korea in 1953 … smallest share of GDP (1.6 per cent) since the Munich Crisis of 1938. It’s all true, there’s no point pretending otherwise; Defence copped a walloping.
01 Jun 2011
Slashed and burned. Not only did this year’s Federal budget defer $2.4 billion of investment to beyond 2014, but the government clawed back $3.9 billion that had been promised in the 2009 White Paper from across the forthcoming decade.
As mentioned earlier, only days before the budget in Canberra, ministers Smith and Clare took the opportunity to announce a range of measures under the Strategic Reform Program (SRP) umbrella. Many of the details build on the work done under the previous Kinnaird and Mortimer reviews.
This year’s defence budget looks like a low-key document, but its long term implications are profound. The financial basis for budget planning has changed fundamentally: the SRP is the new source of Defence’s 3 per cent budget growth.
While some cuts to Defence were to be expected given the government’s promise to return to surplus next financial year (an election year), the cuts were larger than many had anticipated. But there is some light in the finer detail.
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