Foreign aid: Tobias Ellwood warns of 'new cold war' with China
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Boris Johnson saw off a Tory revolt against his cut to the Government’s multi-billion-pound annual foreign aid budget on Tuesday as MPs backed the decision to reduce the annual overseas spending by £4billion. The move has reduced the foreign aid budget from 0.7 percent of national income to 0.5 percent as MPs’ voted by 333 to 298 in favour of the cut. But the move prompted a huge row on talkRADIO as host James Whale faced off with Emma Revell from the Insitute of Economic Affairs.
Ms Revell said: “There are millions of people in poverty and our money can help them especially in the time of a global pandemic.”
Mr Whale hit back: “But it doesn’t get to them!
“What happens is it gets to the government and they spend it on other things, it hardly ever trickles down to the people who need it.
“And if we keep supporting governments like this, they will never do anything to improve it!”
JUST IN Boris Johnson sees off Tory revolt over foreign aid budget cut
He slammed: “We are just prolonging the agony!”
But Ms Revell slammed Mr Whale for his “outdated” views and reeled off how foreign aid works in the modern age.
She said: “That’s a very outdated view of how British aid is spent.
“That was certainly the case 20/30 years ago but it is not the case now, it is spent incredibly efficiently!
Foreign aid cut defended by Conservative MP George Freeman
“It is spent on vaccine programmes, it is spent on malaria tablets, it is spent on fresh water.
“It is spent on things that demonstrably improve life expectancy and healthy life expectancy.
“I think British people should incredibly proud of that!”
Mr Whale could only hit back by saying: “You have become remarkably woke, Emma, since we last spoke!”
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Boris Johnson said the cut was needed to keep public debt down following spending during the pandemic which the government claim has amounted to £407bn.
But 25 Conservatives joined Labour and other parties in an attempt to keep the 0.7 percent figure which was in place until earlier this year.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the cut was “not in the national interest, every member here was elected on a manifesto promise to retain the 0.7 percent target.”
The government has faced massive criticism from all sides over the reduction as every single one of the UK’s living former prime ministers also slammed the move.
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