German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz has presented the country’s budget plan for the next several years allocating an extra $2.4 billion for military spending in 2020, ONA reports referring to Sputnik.
This means the share of defence expenditures will increase to 1.37 percent of GDP and closer to NATO’s 2 percent target. However, after what the ministry described as a "notable increase," the expenditure share will be rolling back to 1.25 percent of GDP, or $50.2 billion by 2023.
The Ministry of Finance has justified its budget planning due to the worsening economic prospects. Apart from military spending, the ministry is also planning to gradually cut its spending on development aid from $11.6 billion in 2020 to $10.8 billion in 2023.
This draft bill, which is due to be adopted by the government on 20 March, goes against German Chancellor Angela Merkel's earlier pledge to increase German defence spending to 1.5 percent by 2024.