I have a few things to say about this article. Firstly, there is good news and bad news for the English tax payer – the good news is that Britain will stop giving hundreds of millions of pounds to India……by 2015. The bad news is that £1.6billion will have been paid to India before the aid is stopped. How’s that for meaning what you say! Seventy percent of British people don’t want aid to go to India – a country so poor it has it’s own space program (!) – and they also don’t want the aid budget to be increased to 0.7% of Britain’s national income. This is how crazy these so-called Conservative Tories are in the UK. They are broke – they are borrowing nearly £120 billion a year to keep going, yet they are hell bent on INCREASING their foreign aid burden so that they give this borrowed money away to other countries. I could swear I’m in a parallel universe to these idiots. All the while they are treating their own people like money teats. And amazingly, this reduction in foreign aid to India – which British people have been complaining about for years – is announced shortly after India kicked the Tories in the eye by awarding a £13 billion defence deal with France. How’s that for thank you very much for your free money! International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell sounds like one hell of a tosser. He is swaggering around spouting about how tough he is in awarding free money to only deserving countries, yet he is willing to put the UK tax payers into huge debt just so he can hobnob it all over the place. If this is the Conservative Party then I’m a flying pig. They are nothing more than TINO’s – Tories in name only! Mr Cameron has turned out to be one heck of a disappointment and I’m sure the British people feel the same way.
Hat tip: Mark
Britain is to stop doling out hundreds of millions of pounds in aid to India, the Coalition announced yesterday.
International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said the current eight-year £1.6billion aid package – which will last until 2015 – would be the last.
Until then, the average annual spend on aid to India will be £280million, despite the fact that the country is rich enough to have a space programme.
Last month, India’s finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee, said he did not even want Britain’s aid and that it is just a ‘peanut’ in the booming country’s development expenditure.
Mr Mukherjee spoke just days after India decided to reject a British-built Typhoon fighter jet as preferred candidate for a £13billion defence deal – choosing a French option instead.
There has been growing anger from Tory backbenchers over the increase in Britain’s aid budget, which comes at a time when public services are being slashed in the UK.
Now Mr Mitchell has accepted that the aid programme to India should be wound up as the Indian economy booms and its own efforts to alleviate poverty become increasingly effective.
He told The Sunday Times: ‘We are walking the last mile with them.’
A poll in the paper showed that 69 per cent of the population believe Britain should stop giving aid to India.
Mr Mitchell said: ‘I completely understand why people question the aid programme to India and we questioned it ourselves.
‘That’s why we reviewed every aspect of it when we came into government and changed it fundamentally. The fact is we didn’t mess around . . . We won’t be there forever.’
Unlike other Whitehall departments, the Department for International Development’s budget is rising by 35 per cent in real terms by 2015.
And a Bill will be introduced later in this Parliament to enshrine in law the commitment that 0.7 per cent of Britain’s national income will be spent on aid.
However, the Sunday Times poll showed that 71 per cent said they disagreed with these plans – while two thirds said they believed Britain spends too much on international development.
Mr Mitchell said that although the aid budget was increasing, there was greater scrutiny of how the money is spent.
He said: ‘The first thing I did when I walked into the office was tell them, no more cheques to China and Russia unless they are legally due. You know, we don’t pussyfoot around. We get stuck in.
‘The China programme was wound down. We were astonished at the extent of Labour largesse with taxpayers’ money in areas we didn’t think were the right areas.’
He added: ‘We expect value for every single pound. If we don’t see results, we are absolutely ruthless in stopping money.
‘We have reduced our administration cost by 33 per cent, and cut staff. We are saving people from starvation; vaccinating children at the rate of one every two seconds.
‘What we are doing is not only right, but in Britain’s national interests.’
Tory backbencher Philip Davies had led calls for aid to be withdrawn from India.
Last month, he said: ‘India spends tens of billions on defence and hundreds of millions a year on a space programme – in those circumstances it would be unacceptable to give them aid even if they were begging us for it.
‘Given that they don’t even want it, it would be even more extraordinary if it were to be allowed to continue.’
A spokesman for the Department for International Development said: ‘The UK’s position remains the same – nothing has changed.
‘As Andrew Mitchell said at the time we announced the results of the Bilateral Aid Review, the Indian government has made huge progress on tackling poverty but there is a huge need in India.
‘We will not be there forever – we have said we are walking the last mile – but now is not the time to end the programme.’