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Cuts to the foreign aid budget.

(147 Posts)
Pammie1 Tue 08-Jun-21 11:37:27

Is it unreasonable of the government to cut the foreign aid budget ? I’m in two minds because of the effect it will have but at a time of record peacetime debt, can we afford to go even deeper into it in order to support other countries ? A government minister (I forget who) was quoted as saying that we need to protect UK citizens as well as poorer countries, but I’m not convinced that the money ‘saved’ would actually be spent addressing any of the issues we face in the UK.

Sarnia Tue 08-Jun-21 11:46:41

Like you, I am undecided about it. I am not sure the money will be spent on critical issues in our country, social care for one, then neither am I convinced the money always reaches those in countries who desperately need it. I think they could radically overhaul the foreign aid budget and only help those countries where the money is being put to good use.

lemongrove Tue 08-Jun-21 11:48:44

I agree completely Sarnia👍🏻

Petera Tue 08-Jun-21 11:49:40

Sarnia

Like you, I am undecided about it. I am not sure the money will be spent on critical issues in our country, social care for one, then neither am I convinced the money always reaches those in countries who desperately need it. I think they could radically overhaul the foreign aid budget and only help those countries where the money is being put to good use.

Foreign aid budget 2020: £14.5B - works
Test and trace budget 2020: £37B - complete disaster

Pammie1 Tue 08-Jun-21 12:03:33

Foreign aid budget 2020: £14.5B - works
Test and trace budget 2020: £37B - complete disaster

Not sure if the two are comparable. Test and trace, like almost everything else around the pandemic, was set up in a hurry and in response to a critical situation, so inevitable that there would be flaws, as it was done without any relevant past experience.

Also not sure whether foreign aid ‘works’ as you put it. If it was as successful as we would all wish, then surely so many African and Asian nations would not still be in such poverty. I’ve long thought that foreign aid should incorporate more training for poorer nations to gain the skilled needed to trade their way out of poverty and thus improve their economies. Alas, so many of them are in conflict, it’s hard to know where to start.

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 08-Jun-21 12:07:17

Saw in the newspaper today , another spin on Foreign Aid is that we have an ‘Historic debt’ to these countries.

I agree that it should be in the form of training programmes, new schools actually built with the money , not given to the various Governments for them to spend on whatever, although maybe they wouldn’t like to be told how to spend the money.

It’s difficult.

JenniferEccles Tue 08-Jun-21 12:20:27

I think the government is perfectly correct in reducing our foreign aid budget.

Until countries like India get their priorities right and divert their space programme money (how much is it, hundreds billions?) to their poor, then we are perfectly justified in our decision.

For far too long, billions have been siphoned off by corrupt leaders, or wasted on daft projects.

GillT57 Tue 08-Jun-21 12:26:38

the argument about covid19 is not relevant for surely every country has been hit financially by it, some far more than others, and some will find it easier to get back on their feet. I also do not believe that if we chose the 'charity begins at home' path, that it would actually go there, in fact I doubt it very much. There are lots of stories of misuse of funds, and I have no reason to doubt that some are true ( although plenty are not), but there are far more success stories ;charities working to get girls educated for example. If one looked at it from a purely selfish point of view, it is still worth spending money on polo vaccination, clean water, schools, small business enterprises etc., for all of these things will either protect the rest of the world from the dreadful diseases that the innoculation programmes will eradicate, or will stop the hundreds and thousands of disaffected poor people from making perilous journeys to reach the shores of Europe. Make life better for people, help them to raise and feed their families, educate their children and they will stay and live and work where they are. I know it is a rather simplistic, but not especially humanitarian view, but possibly one that the supporters of the cuts to foreign aid will understand and support.

timetogo2016 Tue 08-Jun-21 12:26:47

Spot on Sarnia.
A little controversial,but family planning wouldn`t go amiss.
It`s so sad to see alot of children starving or dying.

GillT57 Tue 08-Jun-21 12:30:42

The Sun reported in its Boxing Day edition that the UK government plans to provide £98 million in aid to India over a two-year period even though it is expected to become the world’s third biggest economy by 2030

The UK no longer gives any money to the Government of India

More than half of the projected £98 million will be invested in Indian enterprises, while the rest funds technical expertise. Together these help develop new markets, whist creating jobs for some of India’s poorest and marginalised people

At the same time, this will also help create jobs for UK businesses, and generate a return for the UK. This is a win for the UK and a win for India In reply to Jennifer Eccles post.

GillT57 Tue 08-Jun-21 12:32:06

A little controversial,but family planning wouldn`t go amiss What do you think the medical clinics do? How would you access contraception if the nearest clinic is 3 days walk away?

Alegrias1 Tue 08-Jun-21 12:36:58

The government had it in their manifesto that they would honour the 0.7% figure. OK, the world has changed immeasurably since the 2019 election, but the absolute value of what we would provide would have gone down anyway since our Gross National Income has gone down.

This scandalous cut plays into the hands of those who think International Aid is charity to the undeserving poor ; you know, those who don't use family planning, those whose governments are too corrupt to take care of them. And it plays into the hands of people who think along the lines of "we've given them all this money and yet still they have problems".

I'm interested to see how Johnson spins the message at the G7 next week that we all have a responsibility to vaccinate the less advantaged countries, but hang on, we'll give them less support to build their infrastructure to allow them to get themselves out of poverty.

As you will have guessed, I'm not in two minds at all.

vegansrock Tue 08-Jun-21 12:40:28

I believe ours is the only G7 country to cut foreign aid and all have been impacted by the pandemic.

timetogo2016 Tue 08-Jun-21 12:44:46

GillT57,
Surely the medical staff could travel to them.

Alegrias1 Tue 08-Jun-21 12:49:08

TL;DR: Cutting off our nose to spite our face.

theconversation.com/cuts-to-uk-foreign-aid-budget-are-shortsighted-and-could-damage-british-interests-150899

MayBee70 Tue 08-Jun-21 12:49:34

Unless world poverty is eradicated more and more pandemics will happen so, even if people don’t believe in foreign aid for humanitarian reasons then they should still support it for purely selfish reasons.imo

theworriedwell Tue 08-Jun-21 12:49:59

vegansrock

I believe ours is the only G7 country to cut foreign aid and all have been impacted by the pandemic.

Our government has shamed us.

MayBee70 Tue 08-Jun-21 12:52:04

Mind you, from some on the comments on this thread it’s yet another vote winner for this despicable government. Thankfully there are still some decent politicians in government that may turn it round though. I think Teresa May is pretty furious about it.

vegansrock Tue 08-Jun-21 12:55:15

Cutting aid to poor countries is one way of ensuring that more desperate folk end up entering the U.K. in little boats and putting strain on our resources that way. Maybe those applauding the government may prefer that ?

varian Tue 08-Jun-21 12:56:42

This cut would mean the difference between life and death for people who lack clean water, food and medicines.

No decent UK government should even consider reneging on their promise to the poorest in the world at this time.

Whitewavemark2 Tue 08-Jun-21 13:07:26

Our country benefited 100%from exploitation of these poor countries both by the revenue from slavery and the appropriation of their land that was sustaining them as an agricultural society. All this land was taken and used for cash crops in many instances, mineral extraction or large scale farming etc in others.

Look at South Africa and how the land was appropriated from so many of the indigenous inhabitants.
Look at the way the aborigines have been marginalised.

All these people and millions more have been deprived of their livelihoods, that had sustained them for thousands of years. That together with arbitrarily cutting the continent of Africa into countries without any recourse to the indigenous peoples, has caused large scale suffering. We made sure that there was suppression of the history of these folk which is a disgrace of our colonial years, we owe them big time.

GillT57 Tue 08-Jun-21 14:31:46

timetogo2016

GillT57,
Surely the medical staff could travel to them.

are you for real?

MayBee70 Tue 08-Jun-21 15:08:53

Andrew Mitchell (Conservative) just said in parliament that it is a vote winner in red wall seats….

lemongrove Tue 08-Jun-21 15:18:54

You have to ask the question: as aid has been pouring into many countries, especially in Africa for such a long time, and charities such as Oxfam have also poured money into them for 60 years.....why are women and children still getting dirty water and carrying it in pots?Why are schools no better than they were in many areas? Why why why etc.
Discount wars and famines from the why questioning of course, and examine what the governments of countries are doing for their own people?Does all the aid they receive allow them to sit back and do nothing?

foxie48 Tue 08-Jun-21 15:26:17

My niece works for a charity that has lost a lot of funding from the UK govt and is having to cut or close down successful projects in some of the poorest parts of the world. One of the strands of the work they do is to provide medicines which treat neglected tropical diseases using locally trained people it is this sort of service which would be perfect for providing covid vaccinations but it looks unlikely to survive if they are unable to find new funding. She said she thought it was a bit short sighted! I think I agree.