Overseas Aid

I am glad the UK spends money on ships and equipment that go to assist countries facing flood and tempest. I am in admiration of our medics and armed forces when they sometimes go to help treat and contain dangerous infectious diseases abroad. I am pleased the UK as one of the leading and richest countries of the world helps alleviate and tackle poverty in the developing nations.

The UK should set out what it can do and what it is good at, and should be generous where need arises and where we have the means to help. I want to see reform of our budgets and our activities in these areas so we achieve more with better value for taxpayers.

I went along with the Conservative leaderships’ support for hitting the 0.7% target of GDP, though I have misgivings about such targets. I do not think we should commit to spend a certain proportion of a fluctuating and usually growing number. We should decide on spending on a case by case basis and against our general budget background. We do not pledge to spend a fixed proportion of GDP on health or education or policing, but look at those budgets in the light of needs and costs.

Labour will doubtless oppose such a change. They averaged under 0.4% of GDP on overseas aid in their period in government 1997-2010, despite pretending to support the international commitment to spend around twice as much as they usually managed. Others will join them in opposition. I would suggest it would be best to lobby the EU and its members, who consistently spend well below our spend levels and well below the international target, and will still do so next year. What matters more to me is what each country achieves and how ready it is to go the help of those in immediate need, where the UK rightly excels.

Last year the UK again spent 0.7% or £15bn on overseas aid. £10bn of this was spent on projects and activities we chose along with the recipient country in so called bilateral aid. The balance of £5bn was spent by our giving the money to the EU and other multinational bodies to spend as they saw fit in so called multilateral aid. As we leave the EU it is a good time to bring our overseas aid spending back in house and decide on how we can best help those in need. We should also look at the full support we give, which goes wider than the items allowed under international conventions to be called Overseas Aid. Some of our Defence expenditure is aid, being used to help bring peace to strife torn countries and providing assets to tackle disasters.

I want us to identify the areas where we have most expertise and can do most to help. Maybe the UK should specialise in a few large areas like the provision of clean water to each home, the provision of primary education to all girls as well as boys in poor countries and the roll out of programmes to tackle infectious diseases.

We should follow certain guidelines. The money should for preference be spent in the country we are trying to help, using as much local labour and skills as possible. Where we need advanced country inputs these should usually come from people and companies based in the UK. We should work on the principle that it is better to teach a hungry person to fish and farm for themselves rather than sending them food parcels. The aim is to get countries out of poverty, not into dependence. More trade is often of more help than more aid.

It will be great to see us achieve more by concentrating our efforts in areas where we have most to offer, harnessing public and private sectors together, and taking control with more programmes we run for the benefit of the poorer countries.

219 Comments

  1. Shirley M
    June 6, 2021

    Why were we giving the EU aid money to spend? The UK should get credit for the compassion we show towards other countries. Likewise with Scotland. The SNP get credit and voters loyalty for the freebies paid for by UK taxpayers.

    It always rankled me when ‘EU projects’ in the UK had a big sign saying ‘funded by the EU’. They were funded by UK money but the EU wanted all the credit.

    So far as aid goes, it astounds me that we give any money at all to economies larger than our own. What is the purpose, other than buying favours (the equivalent of brown envelopes)?

    Reply
    1. J Bush
      June 6, 2021

      +1

      Reply
    2. Lifelogic
      June 6, 2021

      +1.

      Individuals can give overseas aid directly as they wish anyway why on earth do we need a very inefficient government middlemen involved? I see Sir John Major is joining Appeaser May on this issue. Had Sir John not caused the ERM fiasco leading directly to three terms of Labour Government then the UK would have be far richer and been rather more able to be more generous. Has he said sorry for his gross incompetence yet? I assume not. Then again Thatcher was largely to blame why one earth appoint someone so dim and innumerate to be the Chancellor?

      Reply
      1. Iago
        June 6, 2021

        Most unfortunately, Cyril Parkinson, an able man, had been fixed.

        Reply
    3. glen cullen
      June 6, 2021

      You would give a drunk beggar a £10 to spend on more drinks. We should be giving aid to countries that have nuclear weapons, space programmes and single party politics ….Aid should be conditional ….and we shouldn’t be giving taxpayers money to the EU to spend on our behave

      Reply
      1. glen cullen
        June 6, 2021

        wouldn’t and shouldn’t

        Reply
      2. Lifelogic
        June 6, 2021

        I though by drunk beggar you meant the government! But that would be a drunk beggar, begging with a weapon & with menaces.

        Reply
    4. Newmania
      June 6, 2021

      . They were funded by UK money but the EU wanted all the credit.

      Funded by UK tax payers many of who wish we were still in the EU, a majority of the working population in fact . Approaching global problems on a mutli National basis is a good idea because a small country like the Uk cannot accomplish ,much on its own.
      If you wish your area to be free of litter , shall we say , would you run around doing a bit here and there on on your own or cooperate with your neighbours in a plan to solve the problem ?

      See?

      Reply
      1. NickC
        June 6, 2021

        Newmania, The UK does not need to be controlled by the EU empire to co-operate with the EU. Or any other state.

        See?

        Reply
      2. a-tracy
        June 6, 2021

        If you wish your area to be free of litter you clean up your patch, communal patches are supposed to be cleaned up by the councils that we collectively pay to do this task. There are also a significant number of people given community service that should be doing this task whilst the rest of us work and take a well earned rest or enjoy our weekends in whatever way we choose.

        Reply
    5. Tad Davison
      June 6, 2021

      Talk Radio have spoken all last week about the amount the UK gives in foreign aid and what it is used for. Such gems as teaching the Chinese how to grow rice should have Chairman Xi and his cohorts rolling around in the aisles! A lot of other causes are fanciful if not whimsical, in the worst traditions of socialism, so why a Conservative government would ever wish to subscribe to such nonsense and thereby devalue the principle is beyond me.

      And let’s not forget the debt traps China sets when lending to impoverished nations on terms they know they can never repay. Their generosity is geared to one thing and one thing only – the advancement of their brand of communism throughout the world, buying politicians and institutions with the interest on our own debt. The UK contributions to foreign aid are unlikely to match the dubious inducements of the CCP.

      The thing that riles me most of all, is how badly led the UK has been for over 60 years. The left couldn’t run a kiddies play shop, and the Tories seem unable or unwilling to call them out, perhaps because in a lot of cases, they’re just as whacky.

      I have regular private conversations with senior politicians who are just as frustrated as I am. Perhaps the standing joke that is the Foreign Aid Budget, is just an indication of a wider malaise. The people want good strong governance. They have shown time and time again they will back a strong leader. We need to deliver.

      Reply
    6. NickC
      June 6, 2021

      Shirley M, Exactly right. I would scrap all state to state foreign aid entirely. No handouts at all. Instead we should buy products from third world countries on a fair basis rather than the sort of exploitative policy the EU uses to steal African fish, for example. If there is a natural disaster then aid charities, the armed forces and the FCO can help out temporarily.

      Reply
      1. SM
        June 6, 2021

        +1

        Reply
      2. Fedupsoutherner
        June 6, 2021

        +1

        Reply
  2. lifelogic
    June 6, 2021

    Boris claims we have cut CO2 by 45% since 1990. This is very dubious indeed, mainly exported it together with the jobs in certain industries and fiddled the figure with “biofuels” and the likes one suspects.

    Rachael Maclean on Any Questions says we have to ban petrol and diesel cars by 2030. No dear your deluded government is idiotically choosing to make that insane decision. This despite the fact that overall EV’s do not even save any (often produce more) CO2. She think the net zero lunacy is “clearly creating jobs” well perhaps 1 for every 4 it destroys or similar.

    Rachael read psychology at Oxford and has an MA at Aston, so can she really be so thick as to believe the drivel she comes out with? Or is she just lying and if so why? We can nearly all see through you.

    At least we got some sense from Ann Widdecombe.

    Reply
    1. lifelogic
      June 6, 2021

      Rachael is an under secretary at transport so we might have expected her to mug up a little on the topic. Then again her boss Grant Shapps has not got a clue either. He is so deluded he even thinks electric cars or “emissions elsewhere” cars are “zero emission”. This when they are generally much higher emission than keeping your nice range unlimited old car.

      Reply
    2. NickC
      June 6, 2021

      Lifelogic, Modern universities appear to teach their students only how to be affected by their feelings arising from the new dogmas. And the more emotional the better, apparently. Neither scepticism, nor rationality is required. And since God died some time ago, “the” science (a rigid political orthodoxy, not actual scientific enquiry), and CAGW are the progressive substitutes.

      Reply
  3. Mark B
    June 6, 2021

    Good morning.

    I was reminded of a saying recently which said; “Givers’ know your limit, because takers never do !

    The money that we send out in ‘aid’ is borrowed money. ie Money that has to be repaid with interest. That is to say that the cost of such money is not only higher but, a more than generous subsidy to them.

    The money should come with conditions. These should be:

    1) A functioning democracy.

    2) Freedom to worship, political affiliation and equal rights for women.

    3) Low levels of corruption.

    4) They must be non-nuclear states.

    5) Have good trade agreements with the UK. ie Low or no tariffs on UK goods and services.

    And so on.

    We should also state that such aid is conditional on at least 80% of that money is used to purchase UK sourced goods and services. Excluding so called charities and NGO’s.

    But my strong belief that if you really, really want to help a country and its people, the best way is through trade and not aid. Aid should be very short term and specifically targettted.

    Reply
    1. Philip P.
      June 6, 2021

      Mark B – I would agree, and add that the first two of your points should also be applied to us as the donor country. We have a regime that can take away the right to religious worship, and suspends the normal working of democracy and the rule of law passed by Parliament, in preference for rule by decree.

      We’ve also learned that an MP who disagrees with a government measure (a fixed % of GDP as foreign aid) is made to feel he has no choice but to vote for it. That’s not functioning democracy as I understand it, or that Burke would have understood it, I dare say.

      Reply
    2. J Bush
      June 6, 2021

      +1

      I remember, along with my siblings, pestering our parents to give donations to my primary school for the Biafra famine. Nearly 60 years later the UK is still giving aid to Africa.

      Reply
      1. hefner
        June 6, 2021

        In those 60 years did you read anything about the post-colonial origins of this conflict?

        Reply
      2. Peter2
        June 6, 2021

        I agree J Bush
        60 years ago my primary school had a big campaign to raise money for the poor people in the Congo

        Reply
    3. Lester
      June 6, 2021

      Mark B

      There are very few countries that meet those criteria!

      African despots building new palaces, funding the Indian space programme and aid to China 😳😳😳

      I’d love to know who decides which countries are eligible?

      Reply
    4. NickC
      June 6, 2021

      Mark B, You are right – trade, not aid. State to state aid is a racket which promotes corruption and hurts the ordinary people in the destination country (see Moyo, Bauer).

      I am sick of our politicians virtue signalling with my money. Whether our taxes are used to prop up the EU empire or any other dictatorship it must stop.

      Reply
    5. steve
      June 6, 2021

      Mark B

      +1

      I would add that the recipient states should also have to qualify against historical and future criteria i.e. are they historical enemies ? and if the shoe was on the other foot would they be likely to help us ?

      I would also suggest that no aid whatsoever should go to former French colonies. The French are obliged to get their wallets out for those.

      Reply
  4. SM
    June 6, 2021

    Sir John, I wish that all those altruistic souls advocating (usually for understandable moral reasons, though not always) more and more and more Foreign Aid would just visit – incognito – Africa.

    I wish they would spend time living with an ordinary middle-class family who had the time and resources to show them the non-touristy bits: the burnt-out public buildings and infrastructure, the disgusting shacks with no facilities so many are forced to shelter in (you can’t call it ‘living’). And then I would like these visitors to read the local and national newspapers, where they would learn that corruption is so deep and so widespread that foreign aid is indeed ‘foreign’ to most of those who are supposed to benefit from it.

    They would learn that ‘soft influence’ is a pipe-dream – there is NO way that white colonialist powers are going to be respected or preferred, although their money will be happily taken by the politicians with their hands held out, and their private bank accounts willing to swallow it all up. China holds far more sway here than Western Europe or the US.

    Splashing foreign-aid cash patently does NOT stop tribal and religious warfare; for instance, people go without water not, usually, because of drought but because the money that already exists here in Africa and is supposed to create new dams and sewage and water works and maintain infrastructure simply disappears into the wallets of the crooked. Perhaps those of your good-hearted readers and fellow MPs who are making such a fuss about the FA budget reduction should do a bit of reading about the water supply situation in the area of Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, just as an example. The same goes for education, by and large.

    Trade, not aid, is what is needed. My apologies for the length of this comment.

    Reply
  5. agricola
    June 6, 2021

    Yes to all that.

    I would like to see us support the vaccination programme, that can already use at cost vaccine from AZ, with all the logistical and application costs and expertise in those Red Countries who are part of the Commonwealth. A challenge our military might enjoy. It is in our and the Worlds interest to get it done.

    I strongly object to many major charities programmes of guilt advertising, designed to make us feel bad about ourselves for creating a civilised country. The sight of very young abandoned children supposedly needing protection from their adult population is a confirmation, first that their country does not care, second an explanation for Rotherham, and third that the countries concerned need pillorying at the UN on a regular basis.

    I would also object to any country being handed money. It should be handed directly to those who are effecting improvement, like boring wells.

    Charity can destroy dignity and create dependency, so wherever possible we should enhance self sufficiency. Trade is better than aid every time. Don’t give technical aid beyond the capacity of the country and people to maintain. For the present let them be labour intensive which spreads the benefit. It is not an easy balancing act.

    The weakness of a per project approach, rather than having a finite aid budget, is financial control. It is a basic rule and observation of anyone given control of a project that they will grow it to increase their own importance. Government being the classic example. So I favour a finite budget as a percentage of GDP, with a built in mechanism to roll over unallocated funds to next year. Do not spend to use the total sum for fear that you will get less next year, a classic civil service government approach.

    Reply
    1. SM
      June 7, 2021

      +10

      Reply
  6. formula57
    June 6, 2021

    Let us provide disaster relief and recognize as the likes of Peter Bauer told us long since that development aid is typically mis-spent and ineffective.

    The recent antics of your colleague Andrew Mitchell in opposing the too limited measures proposed by the Government to reduce spend in these strained times and the echoes from the wretched Major, May the quisling and Cameron were shameful.

    Reply
  7. Pat
    June 6, 2021

    Good morning Sir John,

    We should never forget the sage advice of the great Dan Quayle, American V P, of Manx descent:

    “If you give a person a fish, they’ll fish for a day. But if you train a person to fish, they’ll fish for a lifetime.”

    On a more serious note, do you believe that a UK overseas covid vaccination programme should be funded from the aid budget?

    Reply
    1. J Bush
      June 6, 2021

      +1 re: overseas covid vaccination

      Reply
    2. Lifelogic
      June 6, 2021

      Indeed but we had essentially the same (and very obvious message) from many others well before Dan Quail. Being of Manx decent (as you say) Dan should have added teach him to smoke and kipper them too, so they keep rather longer.

      The 12th-century philosopher Maimonides for example.

      Reply
    3. Newmania
      June 6, 2021

      If you give a person a fish, they’ll fish for a day. But if you train a person to fish, they’ll fish for a lifetime.”

      If you give a man a fish he will eat that night . If you give him a fishing rod he will probably sell it …and buy a fish.

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        June 6, 2021

        Then educate that person.
        Don’t be so defeatist NM
        Human progess is easily achieved.

        Reply
      2. Dave Andrews
        June 6, 2021

        Give a man a fishing rod and the next armed gang to come along with take it off him, unless he sells it first to spend the money on a prostitute.
        Southern Africa’s AIDS epidemic isn’t caused by fidelity.

        Reply
      3. Narrow Shoulders
        June 6, 2021

        And then ask for more tomorrow or maybe come and live in your home univited

        Reply
      4. Lifelogic
        June 6, 2021

        Perhaps that says more about you than most people.

        Reply
    4. X-Tory
      June 6, 2021

      It is obvious that if we send vaccines overseas then that should be funded from the foreign aid budget. What is maybe less obvious, but nevertheless absolutely right, is that the cost of DEVELOPING the vaccines should ALSO be funded from the overseas aid budget. The same should apply to all other work and research that can benefit foreign countries. For instance, both the London and Liverpool Schools of Tropical Medecine should be funded from overseas aid money.

      Reply
    5. Mark
      June 6, 2021

      If we look at where the virus has been most damaging it is in middle and high income countries, mostly in Europe and the Americas. Here’s a map of deaths per million:

      https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/7mazy/1/

      This is not really a matter of aid, but availability of quality vaccines. It is unfortunate that some countries have relied on the ineffective Chinese one: they now need to convince their populations to use one that works.

      It’s also the case that the countries with more deaths also tend to be the ones that we travel to, and take in tourists from in more normal times. Ensuring that these are adequately vaccinated first should be the priority in terms of reducing the global death toll and opening up the global economy.

      Reply
  8. DOM
    June 6, 2021

    Public spending is now filtered through the prism of party political advantage rather than through the prism of utilitarianism. It is quite simply wrong to spend taxpayers money on the NHS, education or overseas aid simply to appease the health unions, vile teaching unions or the now abusive charitable sector to prevent damaging headlines in the press. This politically driven public spending is now replicated across all areas of State activity and it will eventually bankrupt the British purse

    Vested interests of all kinds should be purged from the public system and if this cannot be achieved then subject them to repressive legislation to prevent abuse of taxpayers money that is being used to finance their thinly concealed political activities. The unions and progressive lobby groups are classic examples of this taxpayer parasitism. These groups become embedded and then scream blue murder when their funding is threatened.

    The immorality of the public sector today is that it’s become a political power base for the Socialist clique. Why the taxpayer is financing this vile political movement is beyond me though a Tory Chancellor will appease Unite or the NEU for example by simply ‘stuffing money down their gulets’ rather than telling them to crawl under a stone where they belong

    Your job is to REFORM not continue to finance the regressive politics of the Neo-Marxists that is taking control of our lives across all areas. That is utterly abhorrent especially considering we have had a Tory government since 2010

    The Tory party has lost its way completely. You may be able to deceive naive white, working northerners (I know these people and I speak to them and they’re clueless about your party’s progressive agenda using the free-lunch State dependency trick) in Wigan or Newcastle but those who follow politics like people on here know precisely what the Tory agenda is and it ain’t nowt to do with morality, humanity or the economy.

    Reply
    1. Everhopeful
      June 6, 2021

      +1

      Reply
    2. Jim Whitehead
      June 7, 2021

      DOM, +1

      Reply
  9. Peter
    June 6, 2021

    I question the need for aid to a country that has a space programme and nuclear weapons.

    Aid for countries that suffer natural disasters such as floods, typhoons, earth quakes seems more appropriate than giving it to countries that seem to be feckless or those under the rule of a kleptocracy.

    I disagree with the arbitrary figure of 7%. Many UK citizens want aid to be much lower. It’s our money we should have control of our own charitable donations.

    I wish Mrs. May would just go away and not try interfere in the current government of the country.

    Reply
    1. Andy
      June 6, 2021

      0.7%. Not 7%. 0.7%. A fraction of one percent.

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        June 6, 2021

        Let’s talk cash.
        Percentages are irrelevant when dealing with billions.

        Reply
        1. hefner
          June 6, 2021

          About £15 bn out of a GNI of £2.185 tn.

          Reply
          1. Peter2
            June 6, 2021

            That’s a lot of cash compared 0.7%

        2. a-tracy
          June 6, 2021

          To understand how much £1bn buys we need other figures such as how much Schooling to 18 years of age costs each year, or how much GP services cost per year.
          I found this on assets.publishing.service.gov.uk ‘Core funding for schools and high needs rose from almost £41 billion in 2017-18 to £42.4 billion in 2018-19, and will reach £43.5 billion in 2019-20.’
          Which budget do the MPs that want to overturn the 0.5% instead of 0.7% want to take it from? I read the other day that 0.5% is more than Labour achieved when they were in power and we have just been through a pandemic a war like state that has impoverished our Country and taken a gargantuan effort to overcome. What % of GDP do Southern Ireland pay in Foreign Aid, or Spain and France this year, or Italy?

          Reply
          1. anon
            June 8, 2021

            A commentator mentioned £1m per migrant capital costs.
            So 15,000 illegal migrants a year is 15 billion pa. excluding the yearly expenditure costs.
            This excludes low wage legal migrants.

            Uncontrolled illegal immigration is a massive cost, which is paid for by reduced public goods & services. Meaning higher taxes, on wages, reduced wages, and inflation. Wonderful governance.

            Who wins from ponzi immigration.!

      2. NickC
        June 6, 2021

        Where are those extra “55,000 pen pushers” you said would be needed by Customs to cope with Brexit, Andy? And you certainly can’t claim that was a typo can you?

        Reply
    2. Will in Hampshire
      June 6, 2021

      Agreed, it’s hard to justify aid payments to technologically-advanced nuclear states like India & Pakistan.

      Reply
    3. Rhoddas
      June 6, 2021

      Mrs May has been delusional since Brexit and nothing is her words/actions of late has convinced me differently. I agree Peter, the Covax aid (£500m) we have already provided should be included in our Intl Aid figures; and yes Sir John it is most substantial and subject to what we can afford.

      Now we are much closer to protecting our at risk people from Covid, we should set a clear vision/strategy on who/how we can help ROTW (as per Mark B’s list above), in collaboration within G7/G20 and WHO/Covax. But we decide and I am very hopeful we can see solid coordinated action at the upcoming G7.

      Reply
    4. Lifelogic
      June 6, 2021

      I just wish T May would go away and take John Major, Tony Blair, Dave Cameron and Gordon Brown with her. 50 years of silence from this dire woman and these men is the least we all deserve. I approved of he opt out donations however. Nothing else positive at all from her that I noticed.

      Reply
      1. Lifelogic
        June 7, 2021

        Opt out organ donations!

        Reply
  10. Know-Dice
    June 6, 2021

    How can the UK be characterised as “rich” when the country is running on borrowed money? I thought that the UN were saying that the UK was one of the poorest countries for “child poverty” whatever that is?
    International aid should only be for projects that help countries become self-sufficient, not to allow recipient countries to spend on nuclear arms and moon landings…

    Reply
    1. Iain gill
      June 6, 2021

      It’s only rich if you count the wealth of private individuals living in the UK, people who could choose to leave and live elsewhere any time they liked.
      Which would leave the UK a debt ridden failed state.

      Reply
  11. Ian Wragg
    June 6, 2021

    Aid should ba part of the defence budget.
    Much of what is spent us on nefarious and wasteful projects.
    No one objects to disaster relief but we can’t afford to house everyone who pitches up on our shores.
    Major and May et al are so out of touch with the population.

    Reply
  12. Sea_Warrior
    June 6, 2021

    Pleasing to see that you get it, Sir John. But you need to work on the MP for Aden when you next see him in the Commons Tea Room.
    P.S. I had my second jab yesterday. I now wish to be able to travel abroad, so I can spend MY money, to aid the economies of some of the poorer countries in the world.

    Reply
    1. Everhopeful
      June 6, 2021

      They just might let you risk getting stranded in foreign lands, at huge expense ( to you), but two jabs will not be enough!

      Reply
    2. Andy
      June 6, 2021

      Tens of millions of adults have not had their first jab yet. I do not get my second jab until August.

      We have spent over a year locked up protecting your life and now you are being asked to spend a few more months locked up to protect us and you say no.

      Reply
      1. Richard II
        June 6, 2021

        We’re not being ‘asked’, Andy. You’ll never get it, will you.

        We’ve been locked up to protect no-one’s life. According to the epidemiologist Knut Wittkowski, former head of Rockefeller University’s Dept of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design, dealing with the Covid outbreak by lockdowns, ‘social distancing’, masks etc. has simply extended its duration and created more time for the virus to mutate. He’s not the only one saying this.

        But you prefer to believe ‘advisors’ on a government payroll, it seems.

        If your life’s been damaged by lockdown like so many other younger people’s has, well I’m sorry. But if so why not do something to resist it, rather than criticise those who support one of the few MPs who have tried to mitigate this disaster?

        Reply
      2. Lester
        June 6, 2021

        Andy

        You’re very welcome to both my jabs

        Be my guest!

        Reply
      3. Mike Wilson
        June 6, 2021

        You are not at risk.

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      4. NickC
        June 6, 2021

        Andy, I was against the untargeted national lockdowns. They didn’t work. All three. So, no, you weren’t locked up to protect my life. If you accepted the BBC (etc) lockdown propaganda into your home you were a fool. Read up on the psychological tricks the government used, and be ashamed of your gullibility.

        Reply
      5. Sea_Warrior
        June 6, 2021

        How ageist! And how boringly predictable! I have been ‘locked up’ as long as you. The oldies I know have been very good about doing their bit to halt the spread of COVID. The young? I saw three without masks in Tesco yesterday.

        Reply
      6. Peter2
        June 6, 2021

        You are slow andy, my middle aged relative who is of an age similar to you had their second vaccine two weeks ago.

        Reply
    3. hefner
      June 6, 2021

      S_W, Pleasing to see that you are planning to visit Somalia, Burundi, DRC, South Sudan, Malawi or the Central African Republic on your next trip abroad. Do not forget to check your Hepatitis A and B, Cholera, Yellow Fever vaccines are up-to-date.

      Reply
      1. Sea_Warrior
        June 6, 2021

        My current wish-list includes Namibia, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Mauritius. But Guernsey, from 1 July, looks the only feasible option.

        Reply
  13. Alan Jutson
    June 6, 2021

    Certainly we should do our bit and help other Countries with humanitarian aid due to natural disasters, and as you rightly point out JR that usually involves our armed forces in some way or another, and the use of their equipment and transport, this is not a wholly additional cost because our armed forces carry out various exercises during the course of any year, so that their planning and logistical abilities are tested in any case.
    So certainly from a simple logistical point of view, we gain experience.

    NO, we should not have a fixed sum or fixed percentage budget for spending on other nations, in addition we should not spend any taxpayers money abroad, which then goes out of our control or supervision.

    Yes of course we can take on projects abroad, and clean water is probably one of the very basics in which we could help.
    Any project that we do commit to abroad should involve UK manufacturers if possible and sensible, and supervision or overseeing by our own people who should be training local labour. Once complete projects should be visited on a regulate basis to make sure they are still being used correctly, and have not fallen into either disrepair, or into the hands of despot politicians, tribal elders, criminal gangs, for personal gain, like so many in past decades.

    Reply
    1. Fedupsoutherner
      June 6, 2021

      Once complete projects should be visited on a regulate basis to make sure they are still being used correctly, and have not fallen into either disrepair, or into the hands of despot politicians, tribal elders, criminal gangs, for personal gain, like so many in past decades.

      Great idea Alan but I can’t see we could do much about it even if that happened.. Look at the UN. Even in civil war situations it take a long time for intevention if any. Aid cannot get through to Ethopioan starving because of civil war at the moment and the government there is refusing to do anything about it. This has been going on for years and no amount of aid is helping. These countries need to sort themselves out somehow.

      Reply
      1. Alan Jutson
        June 6, 2021

        Fedup….

        Perhaps not much you can do about it except say no more aid until its sorted, and actually mean it !

        Actually doing what we say and threaten would make a change.!

        Reply
    2. DavidJ
      June 6, 2021

      +1

      Reply
  14. oldtimer
    June 6, 2021

    It made no sense to write 0.7% into law as you point out. It is a recipe for waste of resources. The noisy campaigners who want to keep it are virtue signallers. It is a prominent characteristic of these lobbyists in contemporary Britain. They have no regard for wider issues closer to home.

    Reply
    1. Shirley M
      June 6, 2021

      +1 There is an abundance of wasteful spending on aid, as a result of having to meet the 0.7% criteria.

      Reply
    2. Alan Jutson
      June 6, 2021

      oldtimer

      Indeed, if some people want more to be spent on aid abroad or anywhere else for that matter, there is absolutely nothing to stop them making donations from their own pockets.
      There are many ways of giving aid, and it does not have to involve money, people can give freely of their time, or indeed their experience, likewise you can leave it to a charity of your choice in your Will (tax free)

      Indeed why do some people always want the Government to get involved with everything, in not only our lives, but other peoples lives as well, with our taxpayer funded money.
      We are a generous Nation of people, if we think there is a really good cause for help, funds or our time is usually given voluntarily.

      Reply
  15. Martyn G
    June 6, 2021

    I have no objection in principle to the UK providing overseas monies but the record shows that it has been badly used. Somehow, the objective of those managing it has been to simply hosepipe huge sums of money to all sorts of doubtful recipients e.g. dancing classes, seemingly based in many cases simply on the need to spend the money before the end of the FY. That is mismanagement and something that requires correction as soon as possible.

    Reply
    1. Andy
      June 6, 2021

      This is not true. The record shows our aid money has been incredibly well spent.

      You confuse ‘The Daily Mail’ with ‘the record’. I’d suggest this is where you are going wrong.

      reply I am amazed. At last praise for the Conservative governments since 2010 for the way they run one department of state!

      Reply
      1. NickC
        June 6, 2021

        Andy, That is not true. The data show that state to state aid money is incredibly badly spent. In fact it is worse than useless. You confuse the Guardian/BBC with the data. I’d suggest this is where you are going wrong.

        Reply
  16. J Bush
    June 6, 2021

    IMO all these politicians who want to keep this obscene amount of taxpayers money being given to other countries, I would like to suggest the following:
    1. Every country which has a large military arm and/or a space programme and/or have a poor human rights record receive nothing.
    2. A question, why do you object to keeping UK money in the UK, this should be used to help those here in dire need?
    3. Given the numbers of foreigners arriving here illegally, this budget should to transferred to fund this and also to ramp border protection and stop the current border farce. The first duty of Parliament is the Defence of the Realm.

    For those who don’t agree with 3. I would suggest they fund the upkeep of these migrants and take on full responsibility should a migrant commit a crime. Let’s see how many are prepared to put their money where their mouth is.

    Finally, these same politicians should receive no more protection than joe public gets and make them ‘run the gauntlet’ with everybody else.

    Reply
    1. DavidJ
      June 6, 2021

      Indeed; if people are so keen to support foreigners in preference to their own then let them pay for it.

      Reply
  17. Andy
    June 6, 2021

    UK aid does immense good. It very much works on the principles you demand – helping people to help themselves. And it works.

    I hope those MPs happy to cut it can provide us with a list of specific aid projects they want axed so we can work out precisely how many foreign children will die as a result. Perhaps, in future, the MPs can even write apology letters to the bereaved parents.

    I know talk of dead children is brutal but this is basically what MPs are voting for here.

    So how many dead kids do all of you think are okay? Here’s my opening offer: none.

    Reply
    1. Richard1
      June 6, 2021

      Foolish language and self-righteous rubbish. How many children is the EU ‘killing’ by not spending 0.7% on aid? Are you protesting to them and urging them to be more like the U.K.?

      Reply
    2. Dave Andrews
      June 6, 2021

      So put your hand in your own pocket to help pay for it. Why should the next generation have to saddle more debt?
      It’s not like the UK is paying out of surplus.

      Reply
    3. MWB
      June 6, 2021

      I don’t know or care.
      How many of your beloved EU countries are going to match the UK £billions in foreign aid ? Hint – the answer is NONE.

      Reply
      1. Andy
        June 6, 2021

        According to UN figures the answer is three: Denmark, Luxembourg and Sweden. All of whom give a higher percentage than the UK did BEFORE your aid cut.

        And I know you don’t care about dead foreign kids. Kind of my point about how morally bankrupt you all are.

        Reply
        1. Peter2
          June 6, 2021

          3 out of 27
          Not a passmark andy

          Reply
    4. peter
      June 6, 2021

      Perhaps the Chinese moonshot could go. Number of children killed by this cut – zero – QED.

      Reply
    5. agricola
      June 6, 2021

      More presumption from Andy the coffin junky. The first level of responsibility beyond parents for the children of any country is the government of that country. They do not seem to exist in your thinking. You prefer manipulating the guilt so that it falls back on the UK government and people. Send us a verifiable account of the alms you give, and tell us what you have done to up the contributions of your friends in the EU.

      Reply
    6. X-Tory
      June 6, 2021

      Foreign children are the responsibility of foreign governments. We are NOT the world’s government. Nor are we the world’s social services. Nor the world’s health service.

      Your emotional drivel just makes you look deranged. What percentage of your own income do you give to overseas charities? And presumably, following the logic of your own argument, you must be disgusted with the vile EU, that spends less on foreign aid than we do. You agree therefore that we should not belong to such a vile organisation of child killers. don’t you?

      Reply
    7. NickC
      June 6, 2021

      Andy, I can give a list of the foreign aid projects I would cut – all of them. You may not have noticed but the British no longer have an empire, and are no longer the policeman of the world. We are not responsible for dead children in foreign countries. Or living children. And you would be the first to decry a return to the era when the British were.

      Moreover, your emotional spasms about “dead children” are no more than bottom clutching propaganda from someone who cannot think beyond his next virtue signal. Grow up. And accept the responsibilities – and the limitations thereof – of a grown up. Which don’t include fakery about where UK people “must” spend our money (or our borrowings).

      Reply
    8. DavidJ
      June 6, 2021

      Out of step as usual Andy. What about our own who need help?

      Reply
    9. Iain Moore
      June 6, 2021

      Helping people to help them selves sounds all very fine, but we have been doing that for more than half a century and yet we find that rather than fewer people need aid, millions more do . How long do we continue doing this, and how many 10s of billions do we sink into Aid before we decide it is a policy failure?

      Reply
  18. Sakara Gold
    June 6, 2021

    Give a man a fish and he will use it to feed his family for a day. Teach a man how to fish and he will lol about all day in a boat with his mates, drinking beer

    CRASH!!!

    That’s the sound of the extremely dodgy Grant Shapps (is that his real name?) closing the stable door after the horse has bolted, stranding thousands of Brits in Portugal – in a hopefully futile attempt to save his career in the next cabinet re-shuffle. Why didn’t he close the borders early in 2020 when he was advised to and it would have saved thousands of lives?

    Reply
  19. Old Albion
    June 6, 2021

    Overseas aid should be used solely for unexpected disasters, not routinely given to any country spending money that could be better used, on their nuclear weapons programme/space exploration programme.

    Reply
  20. MiC
    June 6, 2021

    Meanwhile, while you’re fretting over saving the lives or giving education to the descendants of those whom the British Empire so brutally oppressed and exploited, crime continues to thrive in the UK.

    Diligent and credible research puts the cost burden for this at about a whole seven percent of GDP. However, things like security and crime prevention are such a large part of the economy now that the position becomes highly complex. If that amount of enterprise were devoted to immediately beneficial things then the figure could be very much larger still.

    Now, home-grown crime in the UK runs pro-rata at about twice the average of the Mainland European Union countries, so if only it could be reduced to this level then we would save several times the aid budget, but probably a whole multiple of that again in truth.

    Yet you seem more horrified by the thought of helping foreigners, don’t you?

    Have you ever asked yourself why?

    Reply
    1. a-tracy
      June 6, 2021

      What crime is thriving Martin? I read that crime decreased 4% last year in England and Wales.
      We do need to get much firmer with the stabbing crimes and gun carrying around the UK, much firmer.

      Reply
    2. MWB
      June 6, 2021

      How much of this home grown UK crime is committed by foreigners ?
      If you are so concerened about us giving money to foreigners, why not try and persuade your Welsh government to levy a special tax og the Welsh for thsi purpose ?

      Reply
      1. MiC
        June 6, 2021

        The population of UK prisons mirrors rather well that of the population outside, so there you are.

        Reply
        1. Peter2
          June 6, 2021

          It doesn’t
          Look it up MiC

          Reply
          1. MiC
            June 7, 2021

            Well, without more, if the whole UK population were replaced by an average mix of people from the European Mainland, then its crime rate would be halved.

            I don’t have the stats for the Commonwealth, perhaps you’d like to check?

    3. NickC
      June 6, 2021

      Martin, I agree with you that the money we currently give away in foreign aid would be better spent on reducing the level of crime in the UK. But it would also mean the police concentrating on real crime rather that on political correctness and censorship of non-woke views.

      And I realise it is de rigueur within the woke and hard left factions in the UK, but the British Empire cannot have been all that brutally oppressive and exploitative, otherwise the vast majority would not have remained in the Commonwealth.

      Reply
    4. acorn
      June 6, 2021

      MiC, just dropped in to say that you and Andy are doing a fine job of daily winding up the couple of dozen “leavers” from the “mad” end of the autistic spectrum, that have, like Moths, naturally been attracted to JR’s website.

      Continental number crunchers are still trying to fathom why the Brits, having left the EU on the 1/1/2021, whence they became an additional “third country” on the EU trade spreadsheet; don’t understand what third country status actually means. Dozens of other third countries, some with and some without EU FTAs, know exactly how to trade with the EU and have been doing so profitably for years.

      The only connection remaining between the EU and the UK is the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement. Continuing to blame everything that is going tits-up in the UK on the EU is both wrong and laughable; but, your average “leave” voter will absorb it as Gospel.

      Can I just remind you that the UK’s trade with non-EU countries via our membership of the EU was £751 billion a year. Lizzy, so far, has managed to rollover £183 billion of that. In football terms, she is loosing each match on average about two goals to one. Against Japan she lost about four goals to one.

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        June 6, 2021

        Defining them as trolls isn’t the cleverest contribution seen on here acorn.

        Reply
      2. a-tracy
        June 6, 2021

        You don’t have to worry about the 3rd Country status in the EU because Boris has for some reason extended the deadline for the EU’s compliance until January 2021.
        John why has your government done this?
        What makes you think people are wound up by MiC and Andy?

        Reply
  21. J Bush
    June 6, 2021

    I would like to see this in a referendum and let the people to decide if they want their tax money spent in this way/creating debt for later generations to continue.

    Reply
    1. Everhopeful
      June 6, 2021

      Great idea!
      +1

      Reply
    2. MiC
      June 6, 2021

      You will never be asked anything, ever, again by referendum.

      And for patently obvious reasons.

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        June 6, 2021

        Gosh how do you know MiC?

        Reply
      2. jon livesey
        June 6, 2021

        No “rejoin” then? OK, deal.

        Reply
      3. NickC
        June 6, 2021

        Why, Martin? You were all for a “second” EU referendum, though, weren’t you?

        Reply
    3. No Longer Anonymous
      June 6, 2021

      Yes. But furlough must be removed before we have the referendum. The full effects must be felt before the vote is taken.

      Reply
    4. Iain gill
      June 6, 2021

      Yes indeed

      Would blow the view of the political class out of the water.

      Reply
    5. Peter Wood
      June 6, 2021

      Regrettably it is NOT tax money that is being spent, it IS borrowed money. Our children and grandchildren are being saddled with paying this debt.
      Government doesn’t want to give free school meals in the UK at holiday times, so poor UK children go hungry,
      Government doesn’t want to properly fund the cost of catch-up teaching at UK schools, so UK children, the poorest, will have a worse education than they should,
      UK pensioners without savings or family are suffering in silence at home or in the underfunded care system,
      and so on.
      May, Davis, Green, Laughton et al realy need to go to the poorer locations around the country and take care of the people who pay THEIR salaries, before they go off to chanpagne receptions at international charities.

      Reply
      1. a-tracy
        June 7, 2021

        Peter, how much in benefits are the parents of children in Britain given if there is only one parent not working, or one parent working on minimum wage? Do you know the Universal benefit, housing benefit, working tax credits, child tax credits, increased pandemic allowance on top of UC, child benefit, council tax benefit, allowances for furniture and child related purchases? Do you not expect any of these benefits to be spent on the child?

        Reply
    6. Lifelogic
      June 6, 2021

      They can decide easily and each person can decide individually to give or not to give that is real democracy. Cancel all government overseas aid. People can anyway give to suitable charities (and the charities get donors income tax back too). Some charities are excellent some appalling but almost all are more efficient at delivering value than the Foreign Office.

      Reply
      1. NickC
        June 6, 2021

        Lifelogic, Indeed. And government should stop giving block grants to selected charities too. I would accept the government giving general tax relief – for example another 10% on top of a private donation.

        Reply
    7. NickC
      June 6, 2021

      J Bush, Just so. A referendum on whether we should continue wasting our money on foreign aid is a good idea

      Reply
  22. Nig l
    June 6, 2021

    I see the charities, via the BBC of course are complaining of the damage it will do. The same charities I guess paying the Chief Execs eye watering salaries. We are already a major world donor and no surprise Theresa May et al are out of touch with public opinion.

    Your comments are spot on but from this blog upwards they have been made umpteen times before and like Defra yesterday nothing seems to happen. Ministers of State are effectively CEOs of a large corporate enterprise and they have neither the training or ability to drive performance and change.

    In other news I see Gove is on manoeuvres allegedly the EU prefer dealing with him than Lord Frost. Frost must be doing a good job. They like Gove because since Mays time he has shown a jelly backbone giving in to them. I think he is an untrustworthy snake.

    Incidentally how did he manage to get experimental daily testing to keep him out of quarantine? If experimental how do we know it works and who is paying? Once again one rule for him whilst the rest of us suffer.

    Reply
    1. oldwulf
      June 6, 2021

      @Nig L
      Yep … the Charities are complaining…. but they may offer a solution.

      If the existing 0.7% of GDP equates to £15bn, then a reductiuon to 0.5% of GDP would mean a saving for the UK taxpayer of around £4bn. I understand that, for the year 2018/2019, the value of charity tax reliefs was around £4bn. As an alternative to burdening the UK taxpayer with the extra £4bn, the Charities may be prepared to forego their tax reliefs.

      However, I believe our host is right when he says: “The UK should set out what it can do and what it is good at, and should be generous where need arises and where we have the means to help. I want to see reform of our budgets and our activities in these areas so we achieve more with better value for taxpayers.”

      Earlier in this blog, Mark B was right when he said: “Givers know your limit, because takers never do.”

      Reply
    2. turboterrier
      June 6, 2021

      Nig1
      CEOs………….ability?

      Totally correct. The majority are neither use or ornament. That is why the civil servants run rings around them and nothing basically changes. The swamps need draining. It’s embarrassing.

      Reply
  23. Everhopeful
    June 6, 2021

    Why do you need overseas aid when our borders and purse stand fully open?
    Why would anyone be so keen to sort out the problems of maladministration elsewhere before sorting out their own country?
    The estimated number of homeless in the UK is 200,000 and how many people have died and are now dying having been denied medical care by Mister Letsvaccinatetheworld?
    What makes anyone so glad about not helping their own.

    Reply
    1. Lifelogic
      June 6, 2021

      Perhaps these homeless people need to find a dingy or RIB and then pretend to arrive on the beach in Kent so as to get housed in a nice hotel?

      1000+ extra people died because government and JCVI decided to discriminate against men (who are at much higher risk for a given age) in the vaccination priority order costing billions extra too. An act of gross negligence in my view.

      Reply
      1. Everhopeful
        June 6, 2021

        I’ve thought of doing that many times! Nice raft..no ID….
        I believe that border farce actually goes to France to meet the dinghies now?
        Apparently Kent can’t cope any more!
        Fancy that!

        Reply
    2. Fedupsoutherner
      June 6, 2021

      Andy seems to think it’s ok to help those overseas while our homeless die on the streets.
      Andy, So how many dead homeless people do all of you think are okay? Here’s my opening offer: none.

      Reply
      1. Andy
        June 6, 2021

        I agree. Nobody should die homeless on our streets. But then you vote for a party that always puts homeless people on our streets and I don’t.

        It shouldn’t be a choice. You can do both.

        Reply
        1. Fedupsoutherner
          June 6, 2021

          Who are you trying to kid? There have been homeless on the streets since I was a child and I am now in my 60’s. Labour, Liberal and Conservatives have all been in power.

          Reply
        2. Peter2
          June 6, 2021

          Twaddle andy
          There have been homeless people for hundreds of years.

          Reply
      2. Everhopeful
        June 6, 2021

        +1

        Reply
    3. Lester
      June 6, 2021

      Everhopeful

      It’s utterly incomprehensible, like something from Alice in Wonderland

      Reply
      1. Everhopeful
        June 6, 2021

        +1

        Reply
    4. DavidJ
      June 6, 2021

      +1

      Reply
  24. No Longer Anonymous
    June 6, 2021

    I’m boycotting this site.

    The Tory party’s immigration policy is in tatters and they lost it during a pandemic when we’re all under the most ghastly restrictions.

    Clearly this is Andy’s party more than it is mine. The back benchers are part of the problem. They add a sliver of veneer and hope that the Government might start swinging our way but the boat crisis during a pandemic that sees our countrymen bossed around like prisoners shows that we are the lowest priority.

    The mask comes off on the 21st whatever Boris says and from what I’m seeing outside now this lockdown is over. There’s going to be big trouble if they try putting the nation back in its box again.

    Never EVER again.

    Reply
    1. No Longer Anonymous
      June 6, 2021

      https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/15177360/left-wing-bias-of-independent-sage/

      Explains a lot as to why this country has never looked so UN conservative than it does now.

      Reply
    2. X-Tory
      June 6, 2021

      A very bizarre post. Yes, the comments of the likes of Andy and MiC are extremely repetitive, tedious and irritating and make the site less appealing to read, but they do not represent the majority of people here, and Sir John is one of the very few Conservatie MPs who still seems to believe in traditional Conservative, Unionist and patriotic values. So boycotting the site makes no sense.

      As for masks, if you don’t like them then why are you wearing one? I haven’t done so since the end of the first wave peak, and even then I only wore one if in a very crowded, indoor environment. Have you never heard the expression ‘be the change you want to see’? Or the concept of leading by example?

      Reply
    3. MiC
      June 6, 2021

      You write of the “boat crisis”.

      Well, certainly, to anyone who wants the UK to become a theocratic state it is far more attractive, now that it is out of the European Union, since there is no rule of membership any longer against that to stop it.

      So if enough young, family-minded types can make it here, then with time, demographics might mean that there would be a majority in favour – hey, they could demand a referendum, and just like you brexiters, insist that it can never be reversed.

      You should get on like a house on fire.

      Reply
      1. No Longer Anonymous
        June 6, 2021

        You’ve won, MiC

        Which means that voting is pointless and why I’m boycotting this site.

        The Tory party are your party.

        Reply
      2. SM
        June 7, 2021

        Who wants the UK to be a ‘theocratic state’? Certainly no-one I know, of whatever political persuasion.

        Reply
    4. Everhopeful
      June 6, 2021

      No! No!
      Stay…make your voice heard.

      Reply
  25. Iain gill
    June 6, 2021

    What I would say to any politician on this subject is… Go look at one of the worst sink estates in the north east of England… And think about the amount of help they need.

    I genuinely think you would be shocked John.

    Overseas aid should be after helping our own.

    Reply
    1. MiC
      June 6, 2021

      Oh, Hartlepool…

      Reply
      1. a-tracy
        June 6, 2021

        They’ll finally be getting some real help now MiC instead of voting for a party that took their northern working class none public sector supporters for granted. Laughed at them, called them thick and uneducated.

        Reply
        1. MiC
          June 7, 2021

          So which Labour spokesperson did any of that?

          Not one.

          Reply
          1. graham1946
            June 7, 2021

            Which Labour MP did anything constructive to help is more the point rather than nit picking because you have no answer.

          2. a-tracy
            June 8, 2021

            I provided three names, Martin, John doesn’t want to put them through, three was just a start. Just google Labour MPs insult their voters as thick. I have plenty of answers I could provide ten after doing a bit of digging.

  26. David Brown
    June 6, 2021

    The aid budget is always going to be a thorny topic.
    I note a number of conservative MPs are concerned about the cut.
    Leaving aside the reduction in overseas aid there are is a need to ensure aid gets to the people who need it
    Some Gov officials in poor countries are seriously corrupt.
    Some countries have religious views on education and equality
    Some countries are in constant conflict either internally or with neighbours
    The list goes on and it’s always the innocent who suffer
    Water or lack of it is usually the biggest problem with crop drought and resulting starvation in hot climates
    Independent Expert assessment of what is required on the ground will help focus aid where it is needed.
    There are no simple answers other than trying to avoid aid being channelled into military hardware by some Gov officials

    Reply
    1. NickC
      June 6, 2021

      David Brown, It’s not so much UK foreign aid being directly channelled into military equipment by a dictator, it’s that the aid – say for schools – means he no longer has to support the schools. That means he retains more state money to line his own pockets and for his military. A fact of tyrants’ human nature of which the naive wailers for more foreign aid fail to take account.

      Reply
      1. David Brown
        June 7, 2021

        Ahh good point and one I did not give thought to

        Reply
  27. Andy
    June 6, 2021

    I see BoJo is trying to be a statesman – rather than just a state – by demanding we ‘vaccinate the world’ by the end of next year. Way too slow.

    Vaccines should have been distributed equitably at the start. The entire west – but particularly the UK and US – have been involved in a weird form of vaccine nationalism as a result of which many thousands have died unnecessarily.

    And they have done this because the Johnson & Trump regimes failed so miserably in the early months of the pandemic.

    So rather than share a valuable resource the U.K. and US have hoarded vaccines.
    Worldwide more than 2bn vaccinations have been given. This is enough for every over 60 year old on the planet to have had two doses. Instead we are talking about vaccinating children here – just to appease Tory voters who don’t like having to wear a mask – when old people in other countries are dying in their thousands because their countries have no jabs.

    It really is quite sick.

    All of the developed world has failed in this task – but at least the EU countries have exported hundreds of millions of vaccine doses at the same time as carrying out more than 250m vaccinations themselves. The UK and US haven’t exported anything. Well, the UK has sent stuff to its tax havens but nowhere else. Still gotta protect those Tory billionaire tax dodgers.

    Reply
    1. MiC
      June 6, 2021

      Absolutely spot on.

      Reply
      1. graham1946
        June 7, 2021

        Absolute tripe, you mean. There is not enough vaccine in the world yet and factories still need to be built. Even if all the vaccines used by the UK and the USA were sent to India, they would not touch the sides, let alone the world. Bigoted anti West rubbish as usual from you two. Have you had yours or have you donated it to India?

        Reply
    2. NickC
      June 6, 2021

      So the EU has not engaged in “vaccine nationalism” then, Andy? Been asleep for the past 5 months, have you? What’s really quite sick is your intemperate and bigoted attacks on the UK and the USA where most of the successful vaccines were developed. As it is the Oxford (A-Z) vaccine is being supplied to other countries around the world at cost. India for example is making, and using, the Oxford/A-Z vaccine (made by the Serum Institute of India). And the EU’s vaccine production depends upon vital chemicals exported from the UK.

      Reply
    3. Peter2
      June 6, 2021

      In the last 83 polls the Conservatives have been 10 points ahead.

      In another poll “don’t know” beat Starmer as the leader of the Labour Party
      lol

      Reply
    4. SM
      June 7, 2021

      Andy – a significant amount of vaccine supplies already on the continent have gone to waste both in S Africa and neighbouring states because of their governments’ chronic inability to organise a p*ss up in a brewery. And as I understand it, children are at the lowest level of risk from Covid, so they are the last to be vaccinated.

      Perhaps people like you would consider concentrating first on persuading a large number of deranged dictators, religious fanatics, 100% corrupted politicians and illicit drug-producers and dealers to start putting the welfare of their populations before the welfare of their private bank accounts.

      Reply
  28. Everhopeful
    June 6, 2021

    Tax away all the fish a man has caught.
    Pollute and drain his rivers, sell off his sea.
    You will starve him more quickly than the man to whom you give what you have stolen.

    Reply
  29. Bryan Harris
    June 6, 2021

    That would be the sensible approach.

    Cameron always used to say that our FA budget was worth every penny, but I never saw any evidence of this nor the alleged benefit to the UK in spending it.
    Yes, the UK should be totally in control of where it spends FA — I no longer have a trust in multinational organisations to spend our money wisely or indeed in a focused way.

    We need to get away from repeating last minute efforts at the end of the financial year to spend whatever is left in the FA pot, as we’ve see far too often in past years. This shows the false ideology behind the fixed amount for FA.

    By all means let UK organisations or countries lobby for UK FA cash, but have that need fully evaluated, and make sure the cash is well spent within the bounds of that project. Most importantly each project financed would need to show it had produced real quantifiable gain.

    I have no sympathy with the 30 or so Tory MP’s trying to reinstate the 0.7% FA – They certainly do not understand the concept of working effectively with our our money, and have forgotten the budgetary lessons Thatcher taught.

    All too easily FA can be used as a form of wealth transfer – Is this what these people intend?
    Throwing money at problems never worked, and we should stop using any model derived by socialists.

    Reply
  30. Iain Moore
    June 6, 2021

    Johnson made an error in just suspending the Aid spending for in doing that he implied they would restore it, as overall it was a good thing, giving encouragement to the bleeding hearts. He would have been better advised to have removed the 0.7 target saying there was no evidence the Aid structural spending did good, and that there is no supporting economic evidence for us to spend £15 billion a year.

    The reason we are spending this huge amount of money is because the World Council of Churches , back in 1955, asked Dutch agricultural economist Egbert de Vries do to study on it. The assumptions he made are now discredited , if you plug the numbers in now the Aid target would be 0.01% to the most deprived nations , and money flowing the other way, to us, from developing countries.

    Politicians are having us splurge this money without having any supporting economic logic behind it, they are just doing it for to virtue signalling , an expensive £15 billion virtue signalling exercise . After half a century of giving Aid you might have thought they would at least wonder why it is not producing results, and why these impoverished nations are still impoverished after 50 years of receiving Aid.

    Reply
  31. Peter Parsons
    June 6, 2021

    Whenever I look at my annual tax summary statement, I am reminded that Overseas Aid is one of the very smallest aspects of where the tax I pay is spent (it is second last, ahead of only ‘Contribution to the EU’). If I look at all the other areas of spending, way, way, way more of my taxes is spent on the 1% of the world’s population that lives in the UK compared to that spent on the 99% that don’t.

    The UK can afford to maintain this, and it does our international reputation damage to be doing this at a time when the poorest on this planet are being impacted by a global event not of their making. For those anti-EU contributors on this site, FYI, France will meet the 0.7% target this year and Germany will exceed it.

    And if arbitrary spending targets are a bad idea, I look forward to tomorrow’s article on cutting defense spending for all the same reasons.

    Reply
    1. Roy Grainger
      June 6, 2021

      Uh ? But didn’t you tell us that Brexit had already destroyed out international reputation ? So why should we care less about the few countries who spend more than us on aid disapproving ?

      Reply
    2. NickC
      June 6, 2021

      Peter P, If you want to donate your own money to foreign aid charities be my guest, I’m not stopping you. But don’t expect me to pay for your assumed largesse.

      Since the UK is in debt and in deficit, we certainly cannot afford 0.7% GDP wasted on foreign aid posturing. Defence spending is a necessity. And always the tedious excuses for the EU.

      Reply
    3. Peter2
      June 6, 2021

      Most of the money is borrowed you pay little.

      Reply
  32. Sir Joe Soap
    June 6, 2021

    How about we pledge to spend this £15bn by personally travelling overseas when double vaccinated rather than the government order us to cower at home and then handing out aid cash they don’t have?

    Reply
  33. glen cullen
    June 6, 2021

    Overseas /Foreign Aid NO – Emergency Aid YES

    Foreign Aid is a payment for building empires of old or fantasy /vanity projects for elite politicians as a show of their power on the world stage

    Please stop all Foreign Aid for 5 years and reassess its value to the recipients and the taxpayer

    Reply
  34. Original Richard
    June 6, 2021

    Of course aid should be given for disaster relief”.

    But what is the sense of giving aid to countries who turn themselves from a 30m population starving and war torn state to a 90m starving war torn state 3 decades later?

    Reply
    1. Fedupsoutherner
      June 6, 2021

      +1

      Reply
  35. a-tracy
    June 6, 2021

    https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2020/how-many-people-do-we-grant-asylum-or-protection-to
    At the end of June 2020, 45,769 asylum seekers in the UK were in receipt of support under Section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, similar to the previous year.

    Does the cost of this asylum (including all the lawyers, court hearings, interpreters,) come out of the aid budget? If not put it in.

    Andy, speaks of children being put to death if just the ‘little UK’ cuts a tiny proportion of spending due to the biggest pandemic ever visiting our shores causing immense problems to fund in this Country. Andy keeps telling us how insignificant we are as a Country yet today according to Andy we alone with be responsible for ‘dead kids’. Is his beneficial EU stepping up what about all these Countries that don’t put their 2% into Nato because they’re ‘neutral’ well they should fill this void shouldn’t they, they expect protection at no cost so they need to step up.

    Reply
  36. William Long
    June 6, 2021

    Wherever possible aid should be given in a practical rather than financial way; the latter has a nasty habit of leading to corruption. It should be given to meet needs, not to meet a preconceived proportion of of UK GDP. That again is bound to lead to wasteful and unecessary giving. But that would not worry the present objectors on both sides who just wish to embarrass the Governement.

    Reply
  37. Man of Kent
    June 6, 2021

    I agree with the overall thrust of your article Sir John but you have chosen a rather poor exemplar in water aid .
    The big water aid charity does not invest in grid power , only the provision of clean water near the village/hamlet without this resource .
    It is one thing to drill a borehole and produce potable water quite another to distribute that water with adequate pressure over an area without 24/7 grid electricity.
    But that is the situation with our water charities , they will only invest in systems run with renewables.
    It is difficult to quantify the effect of this policy except to say that we allow the significant water projects ( and grid electricity powered in the normal way ) to be financed by China .

    Reply
  38. Dave Andrews
    June 6, 2021

    Can the charities, that display images of needy children with their mothers, explain to us why the fathers aren’t supporting their families? Have you noticed how they are conspicuous by their absence?

    Reply
    1. turboterrier
      June 6, 2021

      Dave Andrew’s
      Course not mate they are all over here with their hands out

      Reply
    2. Fedupsoutherner
      June 6, 2021

      Could be they are all in dinghies crossing the Channel. Don’t worry. The women and children can follow later.

      Reply
  39. nota#
    June 6, 2021

    The primary question is who is getting UK taxpayer money as Aid. For instance why do we give money to China.

    The other question is who directly benefits. After the Iraq War the USA piled US taxpayer aid into the Country to help rebuild. The criticism of that by the left wing media in the UK was that it was companies that paid taxes(created the funds) in the USA that benefited most.

    That same attitude should exist in the UK, UK taxpayer money should go to UK taxpaying Companies to provide support, equipment and resources in those areas that have need. It would appear to often than not the UK taxpayer gets support individuals to maintain power first before any intended benefit is received by those in need.

    Like all things in this ‘modern’ UK those that are paid to defend the taxpayer – don’t. An individuals politics, power and ego receives more attention than the abuse of the taxpayer.

    Reply
    1. hefner
      June 6, 2021

      n#, According to gov.uk ‘Statistics on International Development: Final UK Aid Spend 2019’, posted in Sept.2020, the first 20 recipients of UK Aid are:
      Pakistan £305 m, Ethiopia £300 m, Afghanistan £292 m, Yemen £260 m, Nigeria £258 m, Bangladesh £256 m, Syria £223 m, South Sudan £207 m, DR Congo £185 m, Somalia £176 m, Uganda £154 m, Lebanon £149 m, Tanzania £137 m, Kenya £134 m, Jordan £131 m, Burma £113 m, India £108 m, Mozambique £104 m, Zimbabwe £99 m, and Sudan £93 m.

      Depending who you trust the ODA amount provided to China in 2019 was £68.4 m or £82 m. This year it is supposed to have been cut by 95 % to £900,000 (express, 27/04/2021).

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        June 6, 2021

        £900,000 too much

        Reply
        1. hefner
          June 7, 2021

          E2P2, One nice house in the Wokingham area?

          Reply
          1. Peter2
            June 7, 2021

            More irrelevant illogical nonsense from you heffy.

            Think what £900k could do to help people who are homeless or in need of help with their mental heath.

      2. nota#
        June 7, 2021

        @hefner – yes the top of your list is a World Nuclear Power. May be that is what UK taxpayer funding is for to encourage Nuclear bomb production.

        Reply
  40. GilesB
    June 6, 2021

    Money and resources spent in the U.K. on asylum seekers and other illegal immigrants should be included in the overseas aid budget. Simple analysis will then show that money is much better spent on the prevention of illegal immigration than on dealing with its consequences.

    A condition of any aid spent overseas is that the receiving country will accept, and pay for, repatriation of any of its citizens who enter the U.K. illegally.

    Reply
  41. nota#
    June 6, 2021

    From the Media today.

    “Mr Geldof told BBC’s Andrew Marr that the cut was ‘cruel’. “ Mr Geldof’s own Country gives a massive 0.31%

    From Wikipedia(therefore be careful) Germany (0.6% GNI, US$23.8 billion), the United Kingdom (0.7%, US$19.4 billion), Japan (0.2%, US$15.5 billion) and France (0.4%, US$12.2 billion).

    Reply
    1. Mark
      June 6, 2021

      I discovered that the German aid ministry (BMZ) only spends about €12.4bn itself – that’s only 0.37% of 2020 GDP. The rest of what is classified as aid spending actually comes from other budgets, including defence, and the foreign service etc.

      Reply
  42. turboterrier
    June 6, 2021

    Charity begins at home.
    The foreign aid budget should be spent on the removal of all these illegal immigrants who keep coming to our shores. It’s all borrowed money the taxpayer will have to find, so use it on areas of society that effects us. We are not interested in cheap labour the total cost of dealing with these people would fund better training and wages for our youngsters and those in mid life needing to retrain.

    Reply
  43. graham1946
    June 6, 2021

    ‘Last year the UK spent 0.7 percent – 15 billion on overseas aid’

    No it didn’t. That is the amount the UK government gave away of our taxes. In addition the generous UK public gives regularly to overseas aid projects by way of charitable donations, but no thought is ever given to this, just moans from people like Andy that children will die. I’d like to know why he supports the EU in its low contribution. Has he mentioned it to the EU Commission as he seems to think we can all get in touch with them and make our views known at the top quite easily?

    Reply
    1. hefner
      June 6, 2021

      G46, according to wristband.com ‘Which countries provide and receive the most foreign aid?’, both the EU ($16.44 bn) and the individual constituent countries (Germany, $25.02 bn, France $11.33 bn, Italy, Sweden, Netherlands, etc) have an aid and development budget. So it might be a bit more difficult to judge how much a German, French, etc … taxpayer provides in aid. In 2017 (the year for the figures above) the UK provided $18.01 bn. And your point about the charitable donations given by the generous UK taxpayer can obviously be made for any other EU27 generous taxpayer giving to charities.

      What can certainly be compared is what fraction of GNI the individual states provide: UK 0.7%, Germany 0.67%, France 0.43%, Sweden 1.02%, Denmark 0.74%, Netherlands 0.60%, …

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        June 6, 2021

        Lets talk cash rather than GNI percentages hefty

        Reply
      2. graham1946
        June 7, 2021

        All you have proved is that we are top of the tree, even allowing for your carefully selected 5 nations. As you are so fond of telling us the EU is 27 countries. What is the overall percentage? I’d say half of what you have outlined, probably less. After all, you always say the EU is 500 million people when it comes to trying to downplay any achievements made in getting non EU orders and trade deals. Where are the figures for the remaining 22?

        Reply
  44. The Prangwizard
    June 6, 2021

    There’s far too much virtue signalling in these remarks. All the countries which receive our money are wasteful and corrupt.

    I do not give to the big charities because our government doubles the money.

    Reply
  45. forthurst
    June 6, 2021

    The Swiss do not allow their politicians to virtue signal at their expense. The Swiss keep a fairly tight reign on their politicians which they can do because they do have a functioning democracy unlike the UK. I prefer the Swiss system of putting the interests of Swiss people first over those of foreigners. So do we have any obligation to poor foreigners? Yes, our obligation is not to accept money from alien party backers on condition that the politicians use our blood and treasure to attack those aliens’ enemies abroad. We also should accept our obligation to held repair the damage deliberately inflicted on countries by our armed forces which are not the enemies of the English. Nor should we accept to be told by aliens who are enemies are.

    Reply
    1. Mark B
      June 6, 2021

      And the Swiss are far, far wealthier as a result.

      Reply
  46. JoolsB
    June 6, 2021

    Even at the reduced rate, our aid budget is still one of the most generous in the world. As usual politicians are totally out of touch on this one. Our economy is on its knees, we’re trillions in debt but hey let’s borrow even more so we can give it away to countries that don’t need it and to those that line their own pockets with those mugs the British taxpayers’ money. Utter madness.

    Reply
  47. Diane
    June 6, 2021

    Agree with others, to put 0.7% Foreign Aid into law was ill judged. Those condemning the FA reduction act as if the entire budget is being cancelled. Permanently. It’s temporary. It’s still £10bn as a basic sum. No doubt those charities crying out and, it seems, already blaming us for any project cancellations they anticipate, do rely & plan based on what is anticipated during normal times. That’s accepted. Disaster Relief I see as a separate issue. As far as the public is concerned though, there is cynicism because many feel that UK governments have not proved that funds overall are efficiently targeted, well controlled and monitored. The UK public is / are individually a generous bunch, proved time and again, and also see their personal contributions from taxed income as additional spend on Foreign Aid with the hope that they do some good & so put their trust in those charities & projects they support. Although we now are out ….. of the EU, their money was also being used for various EU schemes & projects both for non EU members, for example EU pre accession states ( The EU’s European Neighbourhood Policy Enlargement scheme ) and to countries outside Europe ( e.g. the EU’s Macro Financial Assistance programme / MFA ) In addition they see multi millions, billions over time, being spent providing aid and ongoing welfare support to foreign nationals arriving both legally and illegally. The UK is and continues to be generous in the extreme both financially & in deed. Many, understandably, don’t separate these various streams of expenditure, why should they, and don’t perhaps much care about the various departmental budgets which just have to be spent. But just see billions of tax payers money exiting the coffers and gulp.

    Reply
  48. Newmania
    June 6, 2021

    There has never been much support for Overseas AID and while a strong case can be made for enlightened self interest it has to be subject to fiscal reality. The post 2008 debts have not been paid and the position is now much worse with first Brexit committing us to lower growth ,and, of course, legitimate Covid Spending.
    Sir John`s suggestion that the rest of us pay to keep Farmers in ponies and Range Rovers was only the latest of his ceaseless calls to spend our children` money and diminish our choices, a misery he will watch from luxurious retirement.
    Outside the EU the UK is a smaller meaner sillier country and sad thought it may be if we cannot afford to educate my children, we cannot afford charity. I would cut it more.

    Reply
    1. NickC
      June 6, 2021

      Newmania, Brexit – even the BINO we’ve got – commits us to higher growth. The UK can trade more freely with the rest of the world and save the £20 billion a year gross (out of profits) to spend as we see fit, rather than paying it to the EU. You can thank us Leaves for that good news.

      Reply
    2. Peter2
      June 6, 2021

      Wrong NM
      Polls show you are wrong.

      Reply
  49. John Miller
    June 6, 2021

    As a Conservative I tend to dislike budgets. As shown by local governments they become a sum that MUST be spent in order to be given the same budget for next year.

    I do think we should be generous to people in need, but we must ensure the people get it, not rulers who want to buy their eight wives or mistresses Rolls Royces and Mercedes.

    The COVID-19 vaccines are a prime example. We should, having safeguarded our own population, help poorer countries with supply and delivery.

    Reply
    1. Mark B
      June 6, 2021

      A good post and one I support.

      Reply
  50. hefner
    June 6, 2021

    O/T: About 500,000 birds are killed in the USA each year by wind turbines. Following an experiment on the island of Smola, Norway, it was found the number of birds killed is decreased by 72 percent when the blades are painted black. In another report in Nature Communications, the US Fish and Wildlife Service scientists S.R. Loss, T. Will and P.P. Marra are estimating that in the USA collisions with power lines kill 8 million birds, hunting by humans 22 m, hitting by vehicles 89 m, collisions with windows 365 m, killing by domestic cats 1.3 bn.
    When will the bird and nature lovers on this site become as vociferous against all these ‘predators’ as they have recently been against bird-killing wind turbines?
    What is the RSPB doing?

    Reply
    1. NickC
      June 6, 2021

      Hefner, We don’t need expensive, polluting, intermittent bird mincers, we do need windows.

      Reply
  51. X-Tory
    June 6, 2021

    Firstly, let’s start by being realistic and honest. We are NOT one of the richest countries in the world – we are 24th when ranked by GDP per capita (this is far more relevant than just the gross GDP). Nevertheless, I agree that we should help our friends who are in need, but we need a bit more realism about HOW MUCH we can afford. And we also need some clear guidelines about HOW to help them.

    In terms of ‘how much’, I believe that around £3 billion a year is as much as we can afford. Remember that we have no spare money floating around – we are actually in debt, and having to borrow money in order to survive. In the circumstances any money we give away to foreigners is money that cannot be spent on oour own people, in areas that are desperately needed, like health, education, housing, policing, etc. We are told that cutting foreign aid is ‘uncaring’, but this is a LIE. It IS caring – it is caring for the BRITISH people, on whom the money will be spent instead. The difference between the Left and the Right is simply that the Left care more about foreigners than they do their own people.

    In terms of ‘how’ the money should be spent, we need a set of simple rules:
    (i) We should spend ALL the money directly ourselves, NOT through any agencies like the EU or UN. Not only does this allow us better control over how it is spent, but we will also get the gratitude of the recipient, instead of us paying and the EU/UN basking in the glory;
    (ii) We should ONLY give aid to countries that our our FRIENDS. They need to demonstrate their friendship by agreeing trade deals and buying everything from the UK, not other countries;
    (iii) Aid should ALWAYS be IN KIND – ie. we send them equipment, or goods, made in the UK. Examples would be pharmaceuticals, farm machinery, water purifiers, even military equipment. This would mean that the money spent will benefit BOTH the UK and the foreign recipient, a win-win outcome!

    The UK has ZERO responsibility for the rest of the world. What aid is provided is done so out of the goodness of our hearts, and people should be grateful for this, not churlishly demand more. We are not respponsible for educating the children of foreigners, or for feeding them, or anything else. We are not the world’s social services. We have HUGE problems in this country and it is unfair to Britons for their money to be given away to foreigners instead of being spent here, where it is so desperately needed.

    Reply
  52. Mark Thomas
    June 6, 2021

    Sir John,
    The problem with multilateral aid is having no say in how the money is spent. Palestinian leaders have been living well for years from foreign aid, while the families of convicted terrorists receive a guaranteed stipend. Crime does pay. All courtesy of western taxpayers.

    Reply
  53. DavidJ
    June 6, 2021

    “We should decide on spending on a case by case basis…”

    Indeed we should. Disaster relief is one thing but ongoing aid, often to countries that don’t need it, has to stop.

    Reply
  54. Mark
    June 6, 2021

    I am not sure what aid achieves when a village gets a solar panel made in China by enslaved Uighurs, but paid for by UK taxpayers. Humanitarian crisis aid is not in question, save that we lack the ready global outposts of equipped military to help dispense it that we once had. The siphoning of money through corruption and political control is another aspect not to be admired.

    Disasters aside, the best way of aiding poorer countries is helping them to trade for mutual benefit. But we have abdicated that role to China’s Belt and Road effort that provides infrastructure, power stations, and develops local mining and resource development – on terms that tie them to China. Our biggest mistake has been to withdraw from providing any assistance to any project associated with fossil fuels. It leaves the field open to China – surely a strategic mistake for which we will pay through being excluded from access, or at least having to pay a premium. It greatly reduces our influence for good in the world. Instead, we now want to impose carbon border taxes and retreat into a proectionist shell while our economy collapses under the burden of net zero.

    Reply
    1. DOM
      June 6, 2021

      Excellent insight and in goes some way to explain the virtue signalling nature of western politicians who now see spending on poorer nations as a mere act of politics to curry favour and secure positive headlines in the press. Such an approach is despicable but then the western political class are despicable every time they open their ‘traps’ with their progressive bigotry and their desperation to conceal their totalitarian intent behind the veneer of human compassion for others. If that isn’t the most vile exploitation of all then I fail to see what it is.

      It is worth focusing on what the average politician never says rather than what they do. When I see real harm, real abuse, real hate and western politicians remain silent then that silence alone is the evidence I need to confirm my suspicions as to where we are being taken by these people and that final point is not a place I want to end up

      Reply
    2. NickC
      June 6, 2021

      Mark, Well said. We have abdicated a role in modernising third world countries (eg: soft loans for coal fired power stations in Africa) as a consequence of our modern belief in the ideologies of woke, political correctness and the climate god.

      Reply
  55. mancunius
    June 6, 2021

    The majority view in the country is that 0.5% of our post-pandemic resources is more than adequate as foreign aid, until our shattered economy recovers.
    If the rebel Conservative amendment is chosen by the Speaker for debate, the MPs who back it should be warned that their names will be noted on division, and they will be locally earmarked for de-selection at the next GE. I assume that those rebels who are a bit long in the tooth are smugly counting on resigning before the GE and bagging comfortable seats in the Lords. They should be left empty-handed.

    Reply
  56. mancunius
    June 6, 2021

    On attempting to leave this message, the website would not accept it. I can’t see why:

    The majority view in the country is that 0.5% of our post-pandemic resources is more than adequate as foreign aid, until our shattered economy recovers.
    If the rebel Conservative amendment is chosen by the Speaker for debate, the MPs who back it should be warned that their names will be noted on division, and they will be locally earmarked for de-selection at the next GE. I assume that those rebels who are a bit long in the tooth are smugly counting on resigning before the GE and bagging comfortable seats in the Lords. They should be left empty-handed.

    Reply
  57. John Hatfield
    June 6, 2021

    Poverty in many poor countries exists because there are too many people. In many cases the first form of aid they should receive is contracepton.

    Reply
  58. Derek
    June 6, 2021

    Is it not time both China and Russia et al, ‘paid their way’ in aid? Why is it always us Westerners who pay out? Why are we paying out to Nations who can fund their own Nuclear weapon arsenals? Like Pakistan and India? It makes no sense to us who live in the back streets of Britain and for very good reason.
    Surely common sense tells us that those Governments who can expend such huge amounts on sophisitcated weaponry can and should support their own people?
    Why should we, deeply indebted Brits help such Governments? We have to borrow more to give. We can only be seen as stupid and a soft touch, and it’s time to put Britain and the British before any other consideration. Or our Nation will implode.

    Reply
  59. Everhopeful
    June 6, 2021

    “Remember that all through history, there have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they seem invincible. But in the end, they always fall. Always.”
    ― Mahatma Gandhi

    Reply
    1. Harold Armitage
      June 7, 2021

      They fall only to be replaced by another.

      Reply
  60. glen cullen
    June 6, 2021

    The most illogical thing that this government could do next is to extend its lockdown schedule beyond 21st June…..I therefore predict that is exactly what will happen ….oh and cave in over foreign aid

    Reply
  61. Lindsay McDougall
    June 6, 2021

    When are we going to impose a condition that any recipient country has to reduce its birth rate to replacement rate, this 2.1 births per fertile woman? There is no point in encouraging backward nations to export surplus people.

    Reply
  62. steve
    June 6, 2021

    JR

    “I am glad the UK spends money on ships and equipment……”

    And I am glad you mentioned this, Mr Redwood, since it has come to light that a white ensign vessel was ordered into French territorial waters to collect and ferry migrants to England.

    Now, the concern here is that Johnson would have known about this and had to give his approval. As you may or may not realise a white ensign vessel cannot be navigated into foreign territorial sea areas at the whim of her Captain. The order must have come from very high up.

    My question is;

    1) Has quisling Johnson assumed even more power than that which he is entitled ?
    2) Has he now decided there is no point in hiding the fact that he does as the French say ?
    3) Does he actually think this latest example of the publicly funded open border taxi service for economic migrants will win our votes at the next election ?
    4) Or was it that the French authorities ran out of the dinghies we have been paying for ?

    I think it has now become very obvious that Boris has to go.

    Reply The Home Secretary has made clear this action was against policy and Ministerial instructions

    Reply
  63. Harold Armitage
    June 7, 2021

    £Billions has been poured into Africa over the decades with no visible result. It is counter productive apart from providing corrupt rulers with a Mercedes.
    The continent of greed, corruption and incompetence.
    NO NO NO!
    This is just virtue signalling.
    Give aid when there’s a disaster and nothing else.

    Reply
  64. lojolondon
    June 7, 2021

    Like BREXIT, Parliament and Government is totally out of touch, and ploughing ahead here with something that is absolutely NOT supported by the voters.

    I have lived in Africa and I can tell you for sure – “Foreign Aid is the transfer of money from poor people in rich countries, to rich people in poor countries.”

    It is singularly badly administered and distributed and always, always ends up in the pockets of people who are
    chauffered around and travel first class and visit many countries and have great connections.

    We SHOULD always give money when there is a natural disaster, like an earthquake or typhoon
    We should NEVER give money to support the status quo – eg. a country has more people than they can feed
    We should NEVER give money to achieve social aims, like encouraging people in conservative countries to express their sexual, political or religious beliefs
    We should NEVER have a “giving budget”, because time and again, the UK has sprayed money around like water, gets to the end of the year an no way of distributing the Billions left in the budget, so merely gave the leftover money to the EU Aid organisation

    Reply
  65. Ken Jones
    June 7, 2021

    Wholeheartedly agree and so refreshing to hear sensible and practical ideas rather than the usual virtue signaling this topic engenders.

    Reply
  66. Ken Jones
    June 7, 2021

    Please change to signalling

    Reply
  67. Fred.H
    June 7, 2021

    So Foreign Aid remains as before.

    Reply
  68. Peter2
    June 7, 2021

    The usual suspects on here can virtue signal as much as they want.
    You Gov polling shows two thirds of voters agree with the Government’s plan to reduce overseas aid.

    Reply
  69. Margaret Brandreth-
    June 7, 2021

    Slightly off focus yet still playing a good part..I think…we see many TV adds asking for contributions to charities . I myself see ‘water aid’ as of particular importance and immediately try to text when the ad appears, BUT the numbers are never correct and a good explanation of how to contribute is literally flashed on the screen , like some subliminal message . Can we not manage these private charities better.?

    Reply

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