Britain’s foreign aid budget has risen 144 per cent in the space of a decade, making it the only major Western power to have significantly increased spending.
A G7 report found that the UK is the only developed nation even close to meetings its controversial target of spending 0.7 per cent of GDP on aid.
While other countries’ spending has remained largely steady, Britain’s has shot up to over £13 billion.
The Telegraph reports that only the United States spends more in total on foreign aid, but it amounts to only 0.2 per cent of its much larger GDP.
Last year, the government passed a law committing Britain to spend 0.7 per cent of its GDP on aid every year, a policy condemned by many within Prime Minister David Cameron’s own party.
In contrast to Britain, Italy is not even spending 0.2 per cent of its GDP on foreign aid, while Germany – Europe’s biggest economy – spent just over 0.4 per cent.
Last month, it was revealed that Britain will spend more on foreign aid than it will on funding local government. The international development budget is expected to hit £9.3 billion in 2017/18, but spending for on local government for rubbish collection, street lighting and local services will be £8.2 billion.
Responding to the latest figures, Conservative MP Philip Davies said: “We are clearly the mugs of the world. The Prime Minister might think it makes us look compassionate to spend more and more money when we’re in debt – to hand it over to some fantastically corrupt countries around the world. I personally think it makes us look stupid.
“You should spend what you can afford. It is absolutely unjustifiable.”
His colleague Peter Bone added: “The real solution to poverty is not aid, but trade and the worst offender at blocking developing countries is of course the European Union. Particularly blocking foreign farmers from selling in from developing nations to protect French farmers and the like.
“If we came out, we would be able to open our markets up to these developing countries. At the same time, we could reduce our aid budget, so we could do more good for less money.”