• Max Bradford

"If there was ever a reason never to vote for Labour, its associate defence spokesperson's statement today is it," Defence Minister Max Bradford says.

He was commenting on Labour associate defence spokesperson Rick Barker's media release of this afternoon claiming Mr Bradford was using scare tactics to pressure for more defence spending.

Mr Bradford said it was clear Mr Barker had not read the speech he was commenting on.

"There is no suggestion of increased spending on Defence. The Government has already decided the Defence Budget for the next five years, and I don't intend to make any requests for further funding," Mr Bradford said.

"The situation in Asia is more unstable now than for many years. Any responsible Government would recognise this.

"The Labour Party may wish to ignore it, but the National-led Government doesn't intend ignoring what is happening around us as we plan for the future."