Media reports have revealed that our government has decided to give an additional £1.3 billion in foreign aid to a list of countries including India and China – despite both nations having a space programme.
Every day more frontline services are cut in the name of Tory austerity, yet that same government has just invested heavily in China’s fashion and film industries. Even worse, whilst our NHS is in the midst of a social care crisis, the UK government has just provided money to fund social care in China.
I have no objection to a reasonable foreign aid budget being spent on things like fighting famines and damage caused by natural disasters, providing clean water supplies or countering epidemics like the Ebola outbreak a couple of years ago.
Our social care system (like the entire NHS) is in desperate need of additional funding. It is the government’s responsibility to use British taxpayers’ money wisely, and its first duty is to spend it on the needs of British taxpayers. If China needs additional funding for its social care system I would suggest reallocating some the funding it currently spends on its space programme. China’s social care system is China’s responsibility, not ours.
By mismanaging and overspending on foreign aid, our government provides grist to the mill of those protectionists who would prefer to abolish foreign aid altogether.
Jonathan Arnott MEP,
UKIP, North East