A senior Government minister has accused the European Union of squandering Britain’s international aid budget on schemes that often have nothing to do with alleviating world poverty.To my mind if we didn't have a foreign aid budget then the EU couldn't 'steal' it, then again if we weren't in the EU they couldn't steal it either. Nor somehow does this explain just how aid is allocated, particularly to countries with space industries (India) a nuclear weapons industry (India and Pakistan) or kleptocracies (Most of Africa).
Alan Duncan, the minister of state for aid, said the Department for International Development (DfID) was “forced to give” British taxpayers’ money to the EU and was powerless over how it was spent.
The charge will raise tensions within the Conservative party because it touches on two of the areas where the Tory Right is most concerned about David Cameron’s policies - foreign aid and Europe.
Brussels insists it does not “impose” its choice of aid projects on Britain but - in an escalation of hostilities - a senior Conservative separately accused the EU of lying. “If you want an EU lie, this is a classic one,” said the senior Tory. “It is a 100 per cent lie. We have been arguing with the EU whenever we can that the money should have a poverty focus.”
At next week’s party conference in Birmingham, Justine Greening, the new International Development Secretary, will face calls from the party grassroots to clamp down on wasteful spending and projects which are not squarely aimed at tackling poverty.
An investigation into overseas aid by The Sunday Telegraph has revealed how £1.4 billion, one-sixth of DfID’s budget, is diverted to the EU for its own schemes - many of them in relatively wealthy countries that the UK no longer believes should receive aid.
The government should not be giving away a penny in foreign aid whilst we have problems at home that need sorting, that should be a personal choice for individuals. If the aid budget reaches £14 billion as is predicted by 2014 then think of just how we could spend that money here, couple it with the scam of the bird mincer subsidies and we could reduce our fuel bills for heating and transport too. Pensioners would not be dying in cold winters because they aren't faced with the choice of eat or freeze. Pensions could be sorted out after the ruinous Labour raid on them by Gordon Brown.
But no we waste it on foreigners and then attempt to blame the EU.
I'm no big fan of the EU, but they aren't the ones raising the foreign aid budget here, yes they may be culpable of taking advantage of it, but that's easy to fix...