I am afraid I cannot agree that we must tinker at the margins with overseas aid, through zero based budgeting as Dr Alf suggests or that the idea that aid “might run the risk of falling into the hands of criminals” is somehow something new.
We are still in financially perilous times and we cannot afford to be giving £12 billion gbp in foreign aid to anybody, let alone countries like China and India which do not need it and to corrupt African dictators who steal it, waste it on their profligate wives, and mistresses and who waste it on fleets of bulletproof Mercedes cars with Guardsman packages and on non jobs created for relatives. Criminals, terrorists and other “bottom feeders” take their cut of this money through the supply chain and UK civil servants at the Foreign Office and DIFID do nothing.
The aid money should be diverted into programs which up-skill the population and help to increase exports and earn needed foreign exchange.
The evidence cited for giving aid is flimsy at best and bogus at worst as evidenced by the inexorable rise of terrorism and ingratitude that accompanies every pound we give.
Money for corrupt African dictators simply results in demands for more as if “white man’s burden” was a blank cheque to be encashed until the end of time.
I say charity begins at home and that the politicians need to remember where that home is.