Why Australian defence spending stacks up

Canberra's recent cut backs on defence spending have been disproportionately criticised – with a comparatively high per-capita spend, Australia is more than pulling its weight in the world.

Australia’s defence budget is coming under scrutiny with the Gillard government scaling back the increase in defence expenditure as it implements its macroeconomic fiscal program to move the budget to surplus. The defence spending restraint is also part of a global phenomenon as governments around the world reassess defence requirements in the context of reduced need and tight budgetary circumstances.

For Australia too, the trimming of the defence budget reflects an evolution in spending priorities, the result of which is defence spending being overtaken by other priority areas.

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