Spending on international development projects will exceed the amount spent on front line policing, The Sun reported yesterday. Aid spending will rocket to a staggering £12.6 billion per year by 2014, £500 million more than the £12.1 billion spent on policing.
he revelation comes as International Development Secretary Justine Greening prepares to travel to Brussels in an attempt to persuade the EU to stop handing out cash to rich countries like Iceland and Brazil. Over a billion pounds a year of the EU aid budget comes out of the pocket of British taxpayers, around a sixth of total UK aid spending.
However, trying to talk the EU out of squandering billions on pet projects like making sure Turkey receives EU TV channels and funding Icelandic tourism schemes simply doesn't go far enough. The Police Federation’s Chairman Paul McKeever has claimed the problem isn't with Brussels as much as it with the Coalition, laying the blame at the Government’s door for its pledge to swell the aid budget while cutting back on higher priorities.
Speaking to The Sun, Mr McKeever said:
The Government’s first duty is to keep its citizens safe. So it is a puzzle the police are subsidiary to a budget dealing with the safety and security of those elsewhere.
Given the extent of opposition to the plans and the depth of Britain’s indebtedness, the Government might try to remember that charity really does begin at home. Taxpayers will rightly be angered by the fact that unaffordable increases for international aid remain one of the Government’s greatest spending blind spots.