UK Taxpayer Hands £47 in Aid Million to Superpower China

China
Jamie McDonald/Getty

Despite the government promising to stop giving hand-outs to the wealthy nation, more than £47 million of UK taxpayer cash was handed to China in 2016.

Schemes funded by the British included improving dementia care in the port city of Qingdao, despite there being local government cuts and a social care crisis in the UK, leaving older people suffering.

The UK taxpayer is also funding schemes such as a school programme about reducing salt intake, despite China having the second largest economy in the world, the Daily Mail reports.

The government is compelled to give away 0.7 per cent of GDP thanks to a law introduced by David Cameron’s administration, which was estimated to stand at some £13.3 billion as of 2016.

The Department for International Development (DIFID) stopped giving cash to China eight years ago, however the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy has continued.

Conservative MP Pauline Latham questioned Business Minister Sam Gymiah about it in Parliament, saying: “It appears that the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy accounts for the majority of spending in China.

“I don’t actually understand why we are doing so much spending in China. We are talking about £46.9million and I have been told previously that we were not spending any money in China.

“They are a hugely fast-moving country, building cities and airports like there is no tomorrow. Why are we spending £46.9million?”

Mr. Gymiah replied: “We are looking at the underlying drivers of poverty. Working together with some of these middle-income countries is actually providing a good environment in which to test new solutions.

“This is a slightly different to directly handing out aid to China. It is a good environment to work on some of the innovative ideas we have.”

But Mrs. Latham shot back: “China is building airports by the dozen; they are having new cities that are much more environmentally friendly than anything we do here, they are doing fantastic public realm schemes so that places are beautiful; they have got rapid transit things.

“Why can’t they work out how to have babies safely? Why are we having to pay for things like that?

“I really don’t understand why Britain is spending this. They have got their own aid programme, so why can they not look after their own?”

At the end of last year, it was reported that part of the UK’s foreign aid budget has been funneled to jihadists in Syria linked to al-Nusra, formerly a branch of al-Qaeda.

And amid the recent Oxfam sex scandal, partly funded by UK aid, DIFID refused to consider slashing the budget and rejected an online petition signed by over 50,000 calling on them to scrap the 0.7 per cent target.

.