4 Aug 2013

Australian govt shuffles defence funding

5:56 am on 4 August 2013

The Australian government is giving defence extra money this year and the next but reducing funding by more than $A1 billion in the following two years.

An economic statement on Friday said there will be an increased payment of $A359 million to defence in 2013-14 and $A304 million in 2014-15.

But $A89 million is to be cut in 2015-16, soaring to $A1 billion in 2016-17. Then defence gets some more money, $426 million in 2017-18.

AAP reports the government said this would better match expected capital acquisitions, support the purchase of important defence items and accelerate investment in critical areas.

That follows cuts to defence in the 2012-13 budget as the government sought to return to surplus.

When that proved impossible, AAP reports defence got its money back, with funding of $A25.4 billion in 2013-14, rising across the forward estimates to $A30.7 billion in 2016-17, now set to be cut to $A29.7 billion.

"This is a return to all the nonsense money shuffles that we have seen over the last couple of years," said Opposition finance spokesman Andrew Robb.