Budget 2020 a slush fund for weapons dealers

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Coming out of the Covid-19 lockdown, people across the country want to build a better society

“Coming out of the Covid-19 lockdown, people across the country want to build a better society by providing for everyone’s basic needs, caring for our environment and properly resourcing the health system. We do not want to build a bigger war machine, ” said Valerie Morse, member of Peace Action Wellington.

“The government’s massive injection of funding into the military is a shocking waste that will enrich weapons companies at the expense of lives. It is totally out-of-step with what is needed right now and in our future,” Morse said.

“We are frankly stunned at the government’s decision to spend our resources propping up dodgy military deals involving Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest arms dealer. This handout to Defence when there have been major failures of accountability and massive overspends on existing weapons contracts rewards incompetence inside Defence.”

“Budget 2020 is an increase of $1.77 billion in operating and capital funding for the military. The recent award of non-competitive contract to Lockheed Martin for one billion dollars for five new troop transport aircraft is breathtaking.”

“We want to be able to cope with another serious public health emergency, and at the same time deal with decades of underfunding in areas such as mental health. People in this country are comfortable with government spending to ensure that we can all live in dignity in a safe and warm home with well-funded social services like health and education; instead, we have a government going further into debt for arms deals. This isn’t a rebuild, it is a rort.”

“Military spending is a black hole and there is little accountability. The situation with NZ’s two frigates is case in point. What started as an obscene $493 million dollar contract with Lockheed Martin Canada has now nearly doubled in cost and has been delayed by years.”

“We cannot afford to have a society in a constant state of preparedness for war. Our future needs to prioritise peace and justice – defined in part as equitable and timely access to health services for all – more than ever.”

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