Critics outraged at UK govt’s one billion pounds aid pledge to ‘economic powerhouse’ India

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

LONDON - Britain’s attempt at offering a helping hand to India by pledging to hand over a billion pounds of tax�payers’ money as aid till at least until 2015, has outraged politicians in London who believe that the move is totally an “unacceptable” waste of public money.

The Daily Express quoted critics of the overseas aid budget as saying that public money was being wasted at a time when public services in Britain were being drastically cut.

They also appeared annoyed with the fact that the cash was being offered to India, a new economic giant that has nuclear weapons, a space programme and itself gives aid to Africa, while schools, libraries, swimming pools, meals-on-wheels, nurseries and other services were being threatened with closure in Britain, the paper said.

Amid concerns that the India’s economy is growing at around 8.5 percent a year, while that of Britain has faltered in the last three months of 2010, Tory MP Philip Davies plans to bring up the issue during International Development Questions in the Commons tomorrow.

“It is completely unacceptable to be giving aid to a country that can afford to spend vast amounts of money on nuclear weapons and a space programme.ndia’s economy is growing at a rate that we can only dream of. It is quite extraordinary to be giving aid money to a country that could end up lending it back to us. International aid should be spent on the poorest countries of the world that have no economic growth,” Davies said.

Emma Boon, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, expressed his disappointment by saying that India is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, and that paying such a huge amount to that country is unjustifiable.

“At a time when we are making spending cuts at home, it is unfair to force taxpayers to pour another �1billion in aid, over the next four years, into a country that has a space programme. Much of this aid never reaches those who really need it and the Department for International Development would do better to focus on trying to prevent abuses of the aid they are already giving out, before promising more,” he added.

Mitchell, a Tory minister in the coalition however, turned down the critics’ claims to halt the aid, saying that: “India has more poor people than the whole of sub-Saharan Africa.”

He also said that aid money to India would be frozen until the next elections. (ANI)

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