“Cost of living” increase

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Last week’s defence budget can be best described as yet again just providing the military a “cost of living increase”.

The Estimates of National Expenditure (ENE) document (Vote 22, Defence and Military Veterans) puts the budget for the year starting April 1 at R37.4 billion, going to R39.9 billion the next year and R42.3 billion in 2014/5. The ENE adds that between 2008/09 and 2011/12, expenditure increased from R27.8 billion to R34.3 billion, “at an average annual rate of 7.3%, and is expected to increase over the medium term to R42.3 billion, at an average annual rate of 7.2%.

This contrasts with the inflation rate, measured at 6.3% in January.