Military budget growth set to continue

The new federal budget, presented on Tuesday by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, confirms last year’s pledge of somewhat delayed, but continued, growth in Canada’s military spending.

The chart above, drawn from last year’s budget documents, depicts the continued upward path of Canadian military spending as projected by the government.

It is worth noting that the chart shows spending in nominal (i.e., not inflation-adjusted) dollars, so if inflation becomes significant in future years, the slope of the growth in spending could be much lower than depicted, or even negative, unless additional money is added. (The “Canada First Defence Strategy” promises average annual growth of 0.6% after inflation.)

The exact military budget for the new fiscal year will not be clear until Part III of this year’s Estimates documents, the DND Report on Plans and Priorities, is released. It may also depend on the outcome of the next federal election, since it is widely expected that this budget will not be passed by the current Parliament.

See CCPA report: Canadian military spending highest since WW2 for further discussion of Canadian military spending.

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