Conservative Party Defence Policy

End to cuts in the size of the regular Army, and equipment spending to rise by 1 per cent a year in real terms. 4 boat Trident Fleet

We will protect our nation

We will continue to keep our Armed Forces strong so they can continue to keep you safe. We will maintain the size of the regular armed services and not reduce the army to below 82,000. We will retain the Trident continuous at sea nuclear deterrent to provide the ultimate guarantee of our safety and build the new fleet of four Successor Ballistic Missile Submarines – securing thousands of highly-skilled engineering jobs in the UK. We will work closely with our allies to continue to strengthen NATO – supporting its new multi-national rapid response force. We will maintain our global presence, strengthening our defence partnerships in the Gulf and Asia. Later this year, we will hold a National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review to plan for the future.

We will maintain a balanced defence budget and give our Armed Forces the equipment they need

We can only have strong, well-funded Armed Forces by continuing to build a stronger economy. We have the second largest defence budget in NATO and the largest in the EU. We are meeting NATO’s two targets: that each country should spend two per cent of its gross national income on defence, and of that spending 20 per cent should go on major equipment. We have made commitments for the equipment plan to be funded at one per cent above inflation for the next Parliament. We plan to invest at least £160 billion in new military equipment over the next decade: as well as our six new Type 45 destroyers, we are building a class of seven Astute submarines and buying the Joint Strike Fighter, Scout armoured vehicles, Type 26 frigates and new Apache attack helicopters. We will bring both of our new Aircraft Carriers – HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, the largest vessels the Royal Navy has ever possessed – into service, so we have one available for use at all times. We will continue to seek value for money in defence procurement, recognising the important contribution that the UK defence industry makes to our prosperity.

We will maintain strong, modern Armed Forces

Modern, flexible Armed Forces need strong reserve capacity, alongside strong regular forces. We have invested significantly in our reserves, and we will deliver on our commitment to expand them to 35,000. We will continue to invest in our cyber defence capabilities. We will also provide more opportunities for talented people from all communities and walks of life to serve their country. We will ensure our Armed Forces overseas are not subject to persistent human rights claims that undermine their ability to do their job.e the biggest defence

Our plan of action:

We will continue to honour our commitments Tackling global poverty is both the right thing to do and in Britain’s interests. We have delivered on our promises to meet the UN target of spending 0.7 per cent of national income as aid and to enshrine this in law. We will continue to meet the 0.7 per cent target, maintain an independent Department for International Development and keep aid untied. Our aid budget meets the OECD aid rules, and we will actively engage in international discussions to ensure that these rules fully reflect the importance of peace, stability and effective institutions for reducing poverty. We will insist that every government and organisation we fund meets global transparency standards.

We will save lives

By 2020, we will save 1.4 million children’s lives, by immunising 76 million children against killer diseases. We will help at least 11 million children in the poorest countries gain a decent education, improve nutrition for at least 50 million people, who would otherwise go hungry; and help at least 60 million people get access to clean water and sanitation, to stop terrible diseases. We will continue to lead the response to humanitarian emergencies, and establish a means to respond rapidly to crises. Our leading role in dealing with the recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa is a good example of how our aid programme helps protect Britain from serious threats, while also helping countries tackle major emergencies which put their stability at risk. We will lead a major new global programme to accelerate the development of vaccines and drugs to eliminate the world’s deadliest infectious diseases, while investing to save lives from malaria and working to end preventable child and maternal deaths. We will expand payment by results and ensure all money to governments is clearly earmarked for specific purposes.

We will tackle the causes of poverty and promote gender equality

We will push for new global goals to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 and promote human development,

Tackling global challenges to make you safer and more prosperous We will continue to honour the Armed Forces Covenant

We have honoured our commitment to enshrine the Armed Forces Covenant in law and done much to support our servicemen and women. We have delivered better accommodation for service families, helped service personnel buy their own home, and ensured that children of members of the Armed Forces benefit from the Pupil Premium. We have delivered proper mental health support and priority access to medical treatments for veterans. To ensure that those who serve can enjoy greater economic security, we have boosted allowances and tax reliefs. We have protected pensions for our servicemen and women. We have ensured that injured service personnel have access to the latest prosthetics and world-class rehabilitation facilities. And we have used £450 million of LIBOR fines from banks to support the Armed Forces community. The money has been used to support a wide range of charities and good causes, from providing better play facilities for the children of service families, to helping rehabilitation through sport for injured veterans. We pressed for the introduction of the Arctic Star medal – for veterans of the Arctic Convoys – and the Bomber Command Clasp, to ensure proper recognition for those who risked their lives to keep us free. We will build on this proud record, implementing Lord Ashcroft’s recommendations on the way the nation fulfils its obligations to veterans. We will work to address hearing loss among veterans. And we will continue to support the unsung heroes of the Armed Forces community: the partners and families of those who serve.