LONDON, Nov 23, 2015:
Britain is to increase its counter-terrorism funding by 30% in the wake of the Paris attacks, finance minister George Osborne said Sunday.
The chancellor of the exchequer would not rule out cuts to frontline police numbers but said he was confident Britain would be able to deal with a major terror assault.
Osborne will deliver his so-called autumn statement, or budget update, on Wednesday alongside a spending review that is expected to lead to deep cutbacks aimed at slashing the deficit.
“Precisely because we are making difficult decisions in other parts of our budget, we can give our military more kit, we can increase our counter-terrorism budget by 30% and we can also take action to prevent guns coming into this country and deal with gunmen on the streets,” he told BBC television.
“We will make sure Britain is properly defended against the terrorist threat.”
Spending on counter-terrorism will hit £15.1 billion (US$22.9 billion or RM98 billion) over the next five years — a 30% increase on what was spent over the last five.
“Increasing the counter-terrorism budget by 30% involves money going to the police as well as our security agencies to make sure we can deal with marauding gun attacks (and) make sure we can stop the guns coming into the country in the first place,” said Osborne.
“Of course the threat is omnipresent but I am absolutely confident we are going to have the resources to deal with it.”
Osborne’s treasury ministry indicated that some of the money would go to the Home Office interior ministry to boost domestic security measures.
Upgraded border information systems will be introduced to help prevent terrorists and arms from coming into Britain, with extra resources devoted to gathering intelligence from seized phones and computers, the treasury said. Efforts to thwart radicalisation will also be boosted, it said.
Prime Minister David Cameron has already announced that the special forces will get an additional £2 billion to improve their weapons, vehicles and equipment and that another 1,900 intelligence staff will be recruited.