Terrorism in the UK has cost nearly £40 billion between 2004 and 2016, according to a European Parliament report. However, the total amount the UK lost since the invasion of Iraq has been well over that amount when accounting for the additional £3bn cost of 2017.
Economists also estimated the cost to life and property due to terrorism, came to a staggering €671.9 million (£592 million).
(The figures don’t account for the attacks in London and Manchester last year.)
In terms of health spending, the Manchester bombing alone is estimated to have cost £16 million.
In addition, the government has pledged a total of £24 million with £4 million for NHS acute services and £2 million for mental health services.
As a whole, terrorism has cost European Countries €180 billion in GDP since 2004, not accounting for the impact of the 14 attacks carried out last year. As you can see, Britain has ended up spending the most.
Additional data showed that the five terror attacks that took place in the UK in 2017 where many innocent lives were lost at Westminster, Manchester, London Bridge, Finsbury Park and Parsons Green – also led to a cost of £3bn and a loss in economic output of €3.5bn.
France suffered the second biggest loss over the 12 year period, at €43bn, followed by Spain, which lost €40.8bn. The cost for the EU overall between 2004 and 2016 is estimated at €180bn.
All this has happened just after the 2003 invasion of Iraq that has seen over one million dead Iraqi’s. Britan’s attack of Libya and intervention in Syria only add to the pressure of having to spend such significant sums on the primary role of government – to ensure homeland security.
The FT reported back in 2016 that Britain had spent more than £33bn on military campaigns overseas over the previous 20 years, this according to the government’s own data and that data was woefully short of the truth.
In Syria, Britain has burned through billions as well even though the public has been consistently opposed to ‘intervention’. Ministers have never put any figure on how much Britain’s involvement in Syria might have cost. Past guidance by governments on military action has often been an under-estimate – none so much as George Osborne’s ‘low tens of millions‘ estimate for the Syrian campaign. Having spent over £2.5 billion on exploded weaponry alone, Osborne was not even mildly close to reality.
Marco Hafner, the senior economist who led the EU terror analysis said: “Besides the obvious physical devastation and emotional trauma, there is a negative impact on economic growth in the countries where these terrorist attacks take place.
“When you bear in mind the infrequent nature of terror events in Europe, the GDP losses that occur to national economies are notable.”
“A clear message from the report is that terrorist attacks can lead to a range of psychological effects that mean people and companies change their economic behaviours. For instance, some people may value their future less and ‘live in the moment more.’ These effects can impact how people consume and save, potentially leading to an increase in consumption and decrease in savings and investment rates by companies. The end result is economic losses across Europe.”