The UK is to hand almost £100 million in “aid” to India, one of the world’s largest economies, despite the nation spending almost the same figure on a new moon landing.
Bizarrely, the significant sum of UK taxpayer money is to be gifted to a nation that now gives away more than three times the amount of aid it receives – In 2015/16 India took in £254 million in aid but gave £912 million to other nations.
The figure is part of the UK’s aid budget, with the Department for International Development (DfID) handing £52 million to India this year and a further £46 million in 2019/20, the Daily Express reports.
It is not suggested India will spend the British cash on its space programme, but it is shelling out almost as much, £95.4 million, on the lunar probe Chandrayaan-2, which is set to launch later this year.
James Price, Campaign Manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, told Breitbart London: “It’s completely unacceptable that taxpayers’ cash is being sent to a country that can afford to pay for its own space programme.
“The aid budget should be used to help people in the poorest parts of the world, but it is increasingly clear that we are unable to make sure the money is well-spent.”
UK Taxpayer Hands £47 in Aid Million to Superpower China https://t.co/nvmGG3TJ2W
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 27, 2018
Tory MP David Davies said India did not “want or need” UK aid and that “in effect, we are sponsoring an Indian moon launch”.
The UK government’s spending on foreign aid hand-outs is more than double the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average.
By law, the UK must give away 0.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). France, by contrast, spends just 0.38 percent of GDP on foreign aid. Italy gives 0.28 percent, and Australia 0.27 percent.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance demanded the target, brought in by former Tory Prime Minister David Cameron, be scrapped. Mr Price told Breitbart London:
“The 0.7 percent spending target must go immediately, and the government should review whether it is able to spend our money wisely enough to justify the 49-year-high tax burden Britons are currently struggling under.”
Meanwhile, many of the charities funded by the UK taxpayer have been caught up in scandals involving sex abuse and waste, including Oxfam.
One in seven aid charities taking taxpayers’ money to spend abroad have reported conduct breaches, including abuse and paedophilia, the International Aid Secretary said in March.