Britain will finally stop paying aid to a country which has a airforce three and a half times larger than the RAF in terms of personnel alone as well as its own space programme.
As India unveils a massive military spending programme where it will splash out the equivalent of almost a quarter of the Ministry of Defence’s budget for the whole of 2015 in one go, Whitehall has finally decided to end subsidising the former Dominion at the expense of the British tax payer, the Daily Mail reports.
The country has received £1.6 billion in aid from Britain in the last eight years, despite it already being the world’s tenth largest economy, and the worlds largest democracy. And now India is planning on spending over £10 billion itself on new warships and nuclear-powered submarines in order to protect itself against any hostilities it may find itself involved in between Pakistan and China.
It’s the equivalent of half the UK’s entire budget on transport this year, at a time where rail passengers have seen fares rising and roads in a dilapidated state with pot holes on major traffic routes which could make the Indian transport department blush.
The new spend will include seven frigates, built by government ship yards as unlike the United Kingdom, India is not obliged by the European Union to put military orders to tender in 27 other countries. A further £5.2 billion will be spend on six nuclear powered submarines.
In comparison the UK, whose defences have been called “embarrassing” by military experts, have a total of 13 frigates and ten nuclear powered submarines, with the future of Trident dependent on the whims of the Scottish National Party in a regional assembly.
The India Space Research Agency (ISRA) is one of the largest space agencies in the world and on 22 October 2008 sent its first mission to the Moon, Chandrayaan-1. 15 months ago ISRA launched its Mars Orbiter mission which entered the red planet’s orbint on 24 September 2014, making India the first nation to succeed on its maiden attempt. It’s future plans including a reusable launch vehicle, human space flight, interplanetary prodes and a satellite study to the sun.
Meanwhile, more people than ever are reliant on food banks in the UK.
The International Institute for Strategic Studies authoritative assessment of global military strengths the Military Balance estimated in 2010 the Indian Air Force had a strength of 127,000 active personnel and there are an estimated 1500 aircraft in active service during 2013/14. The same year that was published. The RAF and Gurkhas bore the brunt of the coalition’s Strategic Defence and Security Review. A total of 920 soldiers and 930 RAF personnel were made reduntant, 750 of them against their will.
The 2015 Military Balance estimates the total active military strength of the Indian armed forces to be over 1.3 million soldiers, sailors, and airmen.
It has been estimated that the RAF could end up with fewer flight aircraft than at any time since the start of the First World War when the airborne elements of the British military were part of the Army and Navy: it was not until 1918 that the RAF came into being in its own right. As of 1 September 2014, the Royal Air Force numbered some 34,640 Regular and 1,720 Royal Auxiliary Air Force personnel, giving a combined component strength of 36,360 personnel.
Tory MP Peter Bone said the spend showed why Britain should not be subsidising India, and remarked it was trade, not aid that brought India out of its poverty. “Aid is just a sticking plaster” he said.
And Romford MP Andrew Rosindell said, there “is absolutely no justification for Dfid to now be spending any money on India. It’s a pity it’s taken this long to put a stop to it, but at least the decision has now been taken.