Foreign aid, an emotive subject that has the current government trying very hard to defend its actions in spending our money abroad whilst cutting back on pretty much everything else (save possibly government spending).
First Cameron was wrongfooted by a cancer patient who demanded an explanation for why the UK’s spends £11bn a year on international when the cost of treatment could not be met by her local authority during an LBC radio show. We’ve had William Hague telling us he’s going to give our cash to Syrian rebels (many of them Islamic extremists) and then having to backpeddle like crazy to say it will only be non lethal equipment, though no doubt that will leave the Islamists like the Palestinians in a position to buy weapons from the other funding they get rather than have to provide for themselves. And finally today we have Cameron trying to defend a ‘Hunger Summit’ at Downing Street.
DAVID Cameron has hit back at foreign aid critics, arguing that even in tough economical times it is Britain’s duty to help the world’s poor and malnourished. Ahead of a hunger summit being held in Downing Street on the closing day of the Olympics, Cameron today spoke of his hopes to tackle hunger, but admitted: “There’s no one single answer to this.”
Co-hosted with Michel Temer, the Brazilian vice-president, where the 2016 Games will take place, the Prime Minister will be hosting a meeting of world leaders gathered in London for the Olympics closing ceremony.
Defending the decision to spend taxpayers’ money on overseas aid, despite overseeing a double-dip recession in the UK, Cameron said: “We are right to meet our aid commitments.”
Thing is, no-ones really asking the taxpayer whether we want our money being spent abroad on lining the pockets of kleptocratic foreign governments foreign aid. Ask most people and they can tell you pretty much where they’d like to have the money spent at home, even if it wasn’t on their needs. £11 billion is quite a princely sum and it’s the only area (officially) where government spending is increasing.
I’ve a sneaking feeling that the government initially only put this promise in place to try and make themselves look good to voters and shed the ‘evil Tory’ tag that the left seem to relish so much whilst trying hard not to allow their own track record to come into the light of day. Now it’s a bit of a millstone for the government and because of the extended recession looking like a vote loser. To which the solution typical of politicians is, first deny that there’s a problem, then tell us it’s the right thing to do, after that will come the hard choices and difficult decisions speeches whilst they quietly shelve any future announcements of giving our cash away in their next manifesto.
Perhaps the government should ponder the phrase ‘Charity begins at home’ and stop spending so much of our cash abroad.
It’s a dead cert vote winner.