“Asked whether he supported an overall increase in spending, Mr Wallace insisted that he had already secured £24 billion of additional defence funding”

Ben Wallace, Defence Secretary, The Telegraph

March 5, 2022

Facts 

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace claimed the government has “£24 billion pounds extra” to spend on defence in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, splashed on the front page.  Analysis by Full Fact showed that £24 billion represents the extra budget the Ministry of Defence will receive over a four-year period compared to the 2020/21 budget, not the increase in the annual budget. Full Fact concluded that “This is the cumulative cash-terms increase in the defence budget over four years. The amount the annual budget is expected to rise by over this period is actually £6.2 billion in cash terms—and less when you take into account inflation.”

Verdict

Dubious accounting from the Defence Secretary risked misleading Telegraph readers.

We approached Ben Wallace’s office to give him a chance to comment, but received no response. 

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