British anti-nukes campaigners are pressuring the government to change course on replacing its Trident nuclear weapons system at an annual cost of £3 billion and rather spend the money on housing.
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) said £3 billion is enough to build 30,000 homes in Britain every year that would fully eliminate the country’s need to build extra homes for social housing while creating 60,000 new jobs each year.
“Around 30,000 extra homes need to be built in the UK every year to meet the need for social housing. This would cost about £3 billion annually. £3 billion is what this country is currently spending every year on nuclear weapons,” the campaign group said.
“It’s a straight swap, homes or bombs. That’s why we’re calling on the government to get rid of Trident and build homes instead,” it added.
The CND has also launched a letter-writing campaign to British Chancellor George Osborne ahead of the December 5 parliamentary announcement on the way forward for the economy to pressure him to change policy on Trident.
This comes as Britain is pushing full steam ahead with a Trident replacement plan that the CND earlier estimated to cost the country more than £100 billion.
British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond has announced a multi-million pound contract worth £350 million for a new generation of nuclear missile submarines.
The £350 million contract is part of the £3 billion awarded last year to giant arms producer BAE Systems to pursue work on a new Trident fleet.
The British coalition government’s junior partners in the Liberal Democrat camp are also opposed to the Conservative-led plan for a like-for-like replacement for Trident.
Lib Dems argue that the justifications for keeping an equal to the submarine-launched Trident nukes are now lacking as the system was designed to counter the threats from the Soviet Union, which has ceased to exist for over two decades.
Trident, which is based in Clyde, Scotland, also faces another challenge from the Scottish National Party (SNP) that says it does not want the nukes on Scotland’s soil if they can secure independence in the coming years.