At a time when public services in the United Kingdom are struggling financially, the leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn has called for our government to INCREASE Foreign Aid spending.
We are trying to understand this, especially when there have been so many stories in recent months about how taxpayers’ cash being used to fund ‘questionable’ projects all over the world.
As the old saying goes, charity begins at home. Unless of course you are Jezza.
According to a report in The Mail:
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Corbyn questioned an announcement in the Budget that the aid ministry will be told to tighten its belt for the first time in four years.
The foreign aid budget will be slashed by nearly £900m over two years as worsening economic growth forecasts mean the UK will be able to spend less cash to meet the controversial target.
Under David Cameron’s foreign aid law, the country must spend 0.7 per cent of national income on overseas development.
Mr Corbyn wrote: ‘As the OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility) revised growth figures down, the UK will now be spending £895 million less than expected on the intended objective of aid which is poverty reduction and tackling disease.
‘Are you confident that the Department for International Development (Dfid) has the resources it needs to deliver global development?’
Any leader of the United Kingdom needs to give the impression that above all else, he or she will put the needs of their own country at the top of the pile. This sort of talk doesn’t really give this impression!
The UK government has just stopped sending Foreign Aid to North Korea
After a great deal of pressure from both the public and government officials, it has been announced that all foreign aid payments to North Korea has been suspended.
The news has been confirmed by the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
According a report in The Express:
He acted after public outrage over Britain’s bloated overseas commitments and the escalation of the basket case regime’s nuclear weapons programme.
The UK has funnelled £4million of Official Development Assistance to the communist state since 2010 – during a period when it has ratcheted up tensions with the West.
Official documents show that last year the country – run by dictator Kim Jong-un and labelled a pariah by the international community – received £216,000 in handouts from Britain.
The Foreign Office said: “The Foreign Secretary has instructed officials to discontinue funding for all aid projects in North Korea.
“We remain resolute in our condemnation of the North Korean regime’s human rights abuses.
“North Korea’s continued attempts to develop nuclear weapons are unacceptable. We remain at the forefront of international efforts to impose sanctions on the regime.”
While this is naturally excellent news, mainly because there is no way that we should be sending taxpayers’ money to a nation that is threatening to wipe us off the face of the earth, we do have to ask why this hasn’t happened sooner.
There is a constant debate about whether or not the whole concept of foreign aid is flawed, especially at a time when our public services at home are under so much financial pressure.
Read on for more information about another questionable use of foreign aid.
It has been reported that the Indian government has recently launched a £383m submarine – an interesting developing seeing that the country receives £47m in Foreign Aid from the United Kingdom.
According to a report on New Observer Online, the vessel INS Kalvari will cost around $500,000,000, and the government is due to take delivery of it shortly.
The report states: The INS Kalvari is the first of the Indian Navy’s six Kalvari-class submarines being built in India.
They are diesel-electric attack submarines designed by French naval defence and energy company DCNS and built by Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai.
At the same time, India has received £47,195,338 in “aid” from the British government, that is, the British taxpayers.
According to the UK’s Department of International Development’s (DFID) website, the British tax money is used to provide “Affordable Housing in Poor States” which provides “loans to build 17,000 housing units and 10,000 home loans for first-time home owners. This will result in 27,000 construction jobs for the poorest people in low income states in India by 2020.”
Another project is to “Promote More Rigorous and Systematic Assessment of the Impact of Development Policies and Programmes,” which, the DFID says, is to invest in “impact evaluation is part of DFID’s overall strategy on results to strengthen independent evaluation and stimulate the production of public goods inherent to impact evaluation studies.”
There are all sorts of ways to look at this, but they always seem to boil down to one key point.
Surely if the Indian government can afford to spend this vast sum on a submarine, they are more than capable of supporting their own people.
We have discussed this sort of thing before, and our position hasn’t changed – we will always support the British government providing Foreign Aid in situations where there is a genuine and legitimate need for it.
However, we fail to see how any Foreign Aid for India can be justified when there is this sort of expenditure on defence.