MOSCOW (Sputnik), Anastasia Levchenko — In the run-up to the general election in Britain, the far-right United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) has called itself "the party of defence" and pledged to hike military spending by £16 billion ($23.8 billion) over the course of the next parliament, if it wins at the polls.
Conservative Spokesman on budgets in the European Parliament Richard Ashworth told Sputnik regarding the matter:
"Parties that are not in government can make these kinds of promises in full knowledge that they will never have to deliver on them."
UKIP claims it would manage to boost military spending by decreasing the UK's overseas aid budget.
The Member of the European Parliament, who serves on the Budgets Committee, explained that such an increase is impossible for a country that is already £1.1 trillion ($1.6 trillion) in debt. He also noted that the debt already costs the country around £50 billion ($73.6 billion) pounds a year in interest payments alone.
Ashworth termed as "nonsense" accusations by UKIP against other parties for their supposed lack of support for the country's armed forces.
The far-right party has also made a number of pledges concerning other areas of UK public spending.
"They [UKIP] promised a grammar school in every town… They promised to double prison places, they promised a 25 percent increase in the military headcount… And they promised that if we leave the European Union, the government would re-fund farmers for the whole cost of the common agricultural policy. Anybody can see that the numbers simply do not add up."
Ashworth noted that the next government would have to work hard to balance the budget.
The UK general election is scheduled for May 7, 2015. The two major parties — the Conservatives and the Labour party – are running neck and neck, with some 36 and 35 percent of the vote respectively, according to opinion polls published on UK Political Info. UKIP is third with around 10 percent of voting preferences.