Anger at aid budget plans

CHANGES to the UK’s aid budget announced this week by Penny Mordaunt have been attacked by charities.

Under the plans announced by the International Development Secretary on Tuesday, pension funds and other for-profit groups will be given the chance to invest money in overseas projects.

But Ed Lewis, aid policy manager at Global Justice Now said: “This sets the stage for the full-scale privatisation of aid spending. Not content with using public money to fund private schools in the developing world, the government now plans to outsource its obligations to tackle poverty to the private sector.

“This is a betrayal of our country’s responsibility for ending global poverty and inequality, and instead turns other people’s poverty into a money-making opportunity.”

The Government is committed to the 0.7 per cent of GDP on aid, but some Conservative backbenchers see it as ‘wasteful’.

However, moves to allow private investors to step in to fund some of the £13 billion annual bill has sparked criticism.

“Mordaunt’s plans are based on a delusional view of Britain’s historic role in the world in which British business is only ever a force for good. She spoke of how Britain has enriched the world through trade – but left out how the world has enriched Britain through empire. The gains of anti-poverty campaigning over the last thirty years to put people before profit are under threat if this wrong-headed privatisation of the aid budget is allowed to proceed.”