The UK would be more secure, have more jobs, and be billions of pounds better off if it didn’t have any Nuclear weapons, a group of churches have told the government.
The Methodist Church, the Baptist Union of Great Britain and the United Reformed Church have joined together to launch a campaign called ‘Better Off Without Trident.’
The campaign calls on ministers to think again before pledging a whopping £26 billion of tax payers’ money, replacing the country’s nuclear submarines.
And the churches point out that the running costs of these deadly weapons are likely to add an extra £29 billion to this figure over 15 years, taking potential savings up to £55 billion.
And according to the churches, such a move would have a positive impact on jobs, public services, and even national security.
For the £3.7 billion they could save by scrapping the Trident program, 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.
But the coalition government have already pledged to spend £4 billion on a new propulsion system for the Trident subs, despite the fact that this is twice the size of the budget which was set for it.
Now 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 Revd Jonathan Edwards, General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, said: “In these days of austerity and severe cutbacks it would be extraordinary not to revisit the Trident issue. We fully appreciate the need for the country to have appropriate defence, but urge the Government to abandon this extraordinarily expensive project which relates to a defence context that has long since disappeared.”
The Trident Nuclear programme, which is based in Faslane, in Scotland, already consumes six per cent of the Ministry of Defence total revenue budget, and now church leaders say that if the Government continues to approve developments for the Trident programme, the UK could be locked into nuclear weapons for another 40 years.
February 14th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross