The government will commit £11 billion to the defence budget over the next five years after a £5 billion funding package for the Ministry of Defence was announced by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak earlier this week.
In his statement, Mr Hunt said: “We were the first large European country to commit to two per cent of GDP for defence and will raise that to 2.5 per cent as soon as fiscal and economic circumstances allow.”
Mr Sunak had previously rejected pleas to increase defence spending to 3 per cent of GDP, despite acknowledging the growing challenges posed by China and Russia.
So how does the UK’s defence funding compare with other countries?
Defence spending around the world
According to the US Department of Defense, the defence budget made up 3.1 per cent of the US’s GDP in 2020, with this figure expected to drop to 2.7 per cent in 2024.
Canada’s government is forecasted to spend 1.43 per cent of its GDP by the fiscal year 2024-25, while Australia’s military spending is 2.1 per cent of its GDP.
China’s estimated military spending by GDP is estimated to be 1.7 per cent.
In 2023, Russia is expected to spend 2.5 per cent of its GDP on defence according to Global Data.
In December 2022, the UK’s Ministry of Defence said that President Vladimir Putin signed the law on Russia’s federal budget: “Draft budgets have stated over 9 trillion rubles (US $143bn) will be allocated across defence, security and law enforcement in 2023.
“This is a significant increase compared to prior years and will represent over 30 per cent of Russia’s entire budget.”