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2012 budget: 3 key defence highlights

In his 2012 budget speech yesterday, Chancellor George Osborne announced three key developments for the aerospace and defence industry. They are as follows:

1. The coalition government will invest £60 million in a UK Centre for Aerodynamics.
2. Cost of operations in Afghanistan will be £2.4 billion less than expected until pulling out in 2014
3. Armed Forces families need more love – Families Welfare Grant and Council Tax Relief doubled along with £100 million accomodation investment

It’s easy to criticise – in politics it’s almost a sport – but the coalition does appear to have delivered a positive budget for the UK’s industrial base that has been generally well received. Putting the all-too-well-known procurement wrangles to one side – including the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers, the MARS tankers, and the £10.8 billion armoured vehicle funding gap – the Treasury has acknowledged the importance of the UK defence industry this week and has gone some way to underline its commitment to it.

Peter Luff, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, made a point of highlighting how the budget is good for business (and, indirectly, good for the UK defence industry, sort of) on his Twitter account last night:

Read a full breakdown of the defence-related budget here.


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