Churches are urging the Government not to shackle the UK to a £55 billion spending commitment on Trident over the next 15 years. They argue that dispensing with nuclear missiles would be beneficial to UK security and our economy.
The Methodist Church, the Baptist Union of Great Britain and the United Reformed Church have launched a campaign – “Better off Without Trident” – which calls on the Government not to spend £26 billion of tax payers’ money on replacing the country’s nuclear submarines.
The maintenance and operation of these submarines is likely to cost at least an additional £29 billion over 15 years, they say.
An online resource, launched today, explains how UK public services, employment opportunities and national security would all be improved by decommissioning the UK's nuclear missiles.
Each year for 15 years, Trident will cost the UK £3.7 billion. For the same amount, the Government could invest in: 15,000 more health visitors; 15,000 more teachers; 300 Sure Start centres; 12,500 new council houses per year; solar energy for 345,000 council houses and still leave an additional billion pounds available to support our troops.
The three Churches are encouraging people to make the case against Trident to their MPs.
The Revd Leo Osborn, President of the Methodist Conference, said: “This is one of the biggest capital projects in the Government’s spending plans. We are being told that we must accept cutbacks in public services. At a time when the protection for the poorest in our society is under pressure it is surely wrong to tie up so much public money in nuclear missiles and their delivery systems. There is still time for the Government to say 'no' to Trident.”
The next big Parliamentary debate on Trident is likely to take place around or immediately following the General Election in 2015.
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