Aug 2, 2019
Hiroshima Day no 2
Nuclear weapons cost too much
Over the next 10 years, governments will spend a staggering US$1 trillion on nuclear weapons globally – that is US $100 billion annually.
Against the backdrop of increasing budgetary austerity and widespread cuts in health and social spending, such allocations for weapons systems appear not only exorbitant, but also counter to the economic and social needs of the nuclear armed States.
In order to spend such large budgets on nuclear weapons, they are forced to reduce the budgets in other areas such as health, education, environmental protection and welfare.
Zulifkar Ali Bhutto, architect of Pakistan’s atomic program acknowledged this ‘opportunity cost’ of nuclear weapons programs, asserting that “if India builds the bomb, we will eat grass, even go hungry, but we will get one of our own.”
Overseas development aid from the nuclear armed States to the developing countries remains way under the agreed target of 0.7% of GDP, a target which could easily be reached if the funding for nuclear weapons was re-directed towards development aid.
Most of the nuclear weapons money goes to private companies which are awarded contracts to manufacture, modernize and maintain nuclear weapons and their delivery vehicles.
For these companies, the bloated budgets are in their interests. Indeed, the companies actively lobby their own parliaments and governments to continue allocating the funds to nuclear weapons. And they support think tanks and other public initiatives to promote the ‘need’ for nuclear weapons maintenance, modernisation or expansion.
On Saturday we will be calling for the Australian Government to help reverse this doomsday scenario by signing the United Nations treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, signed by 123 countries.
Saturday 3 August
Archibald Fountain, Hyde Park
12 – rally followed by march to PM’s office
Speakers: Dr Keith Suter, Hector Ramage, David Shoebridge MLC