The cost of replacing the British nuclear weapon system has been estimated at £76 billion - three times the figure given in earlier estimates.
Gordon Brown expressed his determination to replace Trident in a speech made in the heart of London’s financial district in June. The speech was an attempt by the “iron chancellor” to show that he will be just as steely as Tony Blair in his backing for the British war machine.
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament believes that a decision may already have been taken - just as it was when Margaret Thatcher introduced the system in 1980.
In the past, the cost of replacement had been estimated at £25 billion or less. The new figure includes the cost of acquiring the new missiles and replacing nuclear submarines, and running and maintaining the new system over its 30-year lifespan.
For £76 billion we could buy all of the following:
- Employ 50,000 more firefighters for five years
- Save seven million acres of rainforest
- Employ 120,000 nurses and build 30 new hospitals
- Hire 60,000 more teachers for the next five years
- Save the lives of 1.5 million children in the Third World
- Scrap student top-up fees for five years
From October 2006, there will be a year long blockade at Faslane in Scotland, Britain’s nuclear weapons base. Join the Stop the War protest on 6 & 7 November. For more information go to www.stopwar.org.uk