Trump lays out hike in military spending

US President Donald Trump is seeking to boost defence spending by $54bn (£43bn) in his proposed budget plan for 2018, which is about a 9% increase.

The blueprint also calls for deep cuts elsewhere, including to foreign assistance and environmental budgets.

But Mr Trump’s plan leaves large welfare programmes such as Social Security and Medicare untouched, despite Republican calls for reform.

The president is expected to release his final budget proposal in mid-March.

“We’re going to do more with less and make the government lean and accountable,” Mr Trump said in a meeting with governors at the White House on Monday.

The president, who vowed to increase military spending and preserve welfare programmes during his campaign, said the budget will focus on “military, safety, economic development”.

“It will include an historic increase in defence spending to rebuild the depleted military of the United States of America at a time we most need it,” he said.

The US spends more on defence than any other country at roughly $600bn (£481bn) annually.

Mr Trump also said he would discuss his plans for infrastructure spending in a speech to Congress on Tuesday.

“We’re going to start spending on infrastructure big,” he said.

The White House sent Mr Trump’s budget blueprint to federal agencies on Monday as it prepares for negotiations with Congress.

The Republican-controlled Congress must approve any federal spending.

Source: BBC