March 13th, 2013

Ashcroft Tells Osborne: End Aid Ringfencing

Strong words of advice from Lord Ashcroft ahead of the Budget. Citing the UKIP threat, he tells the Chancellor:

“It is time to remove the ringfence around the International Development budget and end the commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of our gross national income on aid.

It is sometimes said that the commitment to the aid spending target shows Britain’s compassion as a nation. But whatever its merits or otherwise, spending taxpayers’ money on aid has nothing to do with compassion. People show compassion by giving of what they have, of their own accord. If people want to support charities that provide real help to those in need, I admire them. But governments cannot be “compassionate” with money they have confiscated from their citizens on pain of prison.

The Department for International Development budget is increasing by an amazing 50 per cent over this parliament. It is one of only two Whitehall ministries whose staff numbers are growing. Even for those who defend overseas aid in principle, it is hard to argue that spending on it should rise at this rate at a time when spending at home is being cut. Yet this policy remains the orthodoxy among the three main parties, even though most people disagree with it. I do not claim that many people are turning to UKIP, or saying they will not vote, simply because of the aid policy itself – but Westminster consensus in the face of public opposition is the kind of thing that many voters find exasperating and drives them to look for alternatives or give up on politics altogether.”

This two days after Fox called for ringfencing to be evaluated, and Dave saying he would do no such thing. When you think of Indian spacemen and sending aid to Mars, you can see their point…


111 Comments

  1. 1
    Kebab Time says:

    Cant aid be given on a need bases? instead to corrupt governments? or is that to much to ask?

    Like

    • 5
      FonyBlair says:

      It’s a good point by Ashcroft…can I have my share of aid (tax) back to give to a charity of MY choice!?

      Like

      • 40
        Kent Constable says:

        yes. and charity begins at home!

        Like

        • 45
          V1le, vicious Labour ruined my Country says:

          Message from Swiss Banks. No do not ring fence aid it will reduce our profits. We’ve had billions of pounds invested by African leaders to help their people, NOT.

          Like

      • 48
        Another of the Politcal Elite Scams says:

        IF they stop the AID to economically illiterate countries.. How the F-ck will I be able to maintain my Swiss Bank Accounts…

        Like

    • 11
      Polly Tax says:

      Good Letter. Makes perfect sense, except to the Primrose Hill elite.

      Like

    • 27
      MT Pockitts says:

      Support for Greece, Iceland, Ireland, etc. (we’ll never get it back) and should be counted as the same thing. All came from the taxpayer.

      Like

      • 51
        Madness says:

        Support for Ireland…..er, you mean support for the Republic of Ireland to enable its firms to have a competitive advantage over those from Northern Ireland.

        Like

      • 84
        fire's too good for them says:

        foreign aid is a lot more than 0.7% when you consider EU contributions. The official EU conts are £20bn, you can near guarantee the real figure is nearer £30bn and that’s before you even start talking about liabilities we’ve signed up to for future bailouts.
        In other words the £10bn foreign aid + theofficial £20bn =£30bn i.e roughly 5% of the total government annual income, this line of 1% of GDP is thoroughly misleading.
        £30bn would as it happens fund 30 medium sized hospitals for somewhere around 5 years, or it could train a million doctors, and so on.
        But no, we borrow it from the money markets at ever increasing rates to then give it away and of course subsidise the corruption of the bank of england

        Like

    • 38
      Chris (Wandsworth resident) says:

      Can I have a fence around my ring, please?

      Like

      • 50
        Another of the Politcal Elite Scams says:

        No Chris.,. You cant as the Political class are coming for your RING.

        Like

      • 66
        A prison advisor says:

        Dear Chris in Wandsworth

        No, I don’t think it is the change in mattress that is giving you a sore bum. Perhaps it’s the change in diet. I would suggest trying to stay away from the chilli dogs.

        Like

      • 89
        Royal British Legion dominoes club says:

        Dear prisoner 6969000 Huhne

        Unfortunately all fences have been banned due to a poorly conducted and heavily influenced scientific study which has found that they cause untold damage to the environment but we have a compulsory purchase order for your anus to enable us to install a windmill on the site, it has been ‘scientifically’ proven that the wind around the area of your anus is sufficient enough to produce 80kw of electricity.

        Yours sincerely
        Ministry for Energy and Climate Change.

        Like

  2. 2
    Anonymous says:

    Mecha Old Holborn needs to lose some weight

    Like

  3. 3
    Adders says:

    Only an idiot would borrow money to give to charity when they can’t pay for the things they need for themselves…. Yet this is exactly what our aid budget it. Fine in times or surplus, inexcusable in times of deficit. Cut the lot. Now.

    Like

    • 26
      Dee Lusional says:

      About the points above. Yes, Yes and No. If we are going to spend it, it should be targeted. If you want to keep the indigenous in Asia, Africa and East Europe rather than here, you need to provide some sort of support to their economies.

      Call it a bribe to their government to sort out their problems.

      .. Or we could just call all foreigners “Terrorists”, increase spending on state aparatus like Police, Border Control, CCTV, ID Cards, HRMC checks, Housing officer checks etc.

      And when you pass all the checks, you will be an Englishman…

      Like

  4. 4
    Anonymous says:

    The amount of money remitted by immigrants dwarfes the DfID budget. Let’s use the real ‘Big Society’ to deliver our unternational obligations

    Like

    • 6
      Anonymous says:

      Anonymous wrote:
      “The amount of money remitted by immigrants dwarfes the DfID budget. Let’s use the real ‘Big Society’ to deliver our unternational obligations”.

      And now in English?

      Like

  5. 8
    Sick of it says:

    Overseas aid is a drop in the ocean of UK’s debt.

    What’s really getting to voters is fear for our country, jobs and businesses and a government that is clueless.

    It’s too high taxation and out of control benefits. It’s the EU’s open doors migration policy and the strain a mountain of migration to UK is placing on unemployment, housing, roads and the NHS.

    It’s new planning laws that transform decent communities into profits feeding frenzy meccas for developers.

    It’s a government that’s totally out of touch.

    Like

  6. 9
    Blowing Whistles says:

    Didn’t Huhne try the old “look at how much I give to charity” (go easy on me M’lud) ruse in mitigation.

    Plenty of People ‘attach’ themselves to charities – for ulterior PURPOSES. They always – expect that any questions of their propriety will be ‘overlooked’ because of their charitable donations – JIMMY FUCKING SAVILE for instance.

    Like

  7. 12
    Jimmy says:

    For sheer fucking brass neck it’s hard to beat Lord Cashpoint.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/jul/22/aid-tory-donor-lord-ashcroft-labour

    Like

  8. 14
    Chris says:

    The Tories will be hammered in 2015. Overseas aid at £12 billion, 20000 soldiers sacked and no referendum on the EU.

    Vote Ukip.

    Like

  9. 15
    Casual Observer says:

    And here is another cluster-fuck of a policy decision which needs to be reversed and sorted tout suite:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/9925950/Wind-farms-are-Chris-Huhnes-greatest-crime.html

    Like

    • 28
      Gerry Mandering says:

      You can have your own Windmill on Green Deal at 7% compound interest over 25 years – a £10K windmill will eventually cost £54K. Now how does that make sense.

      Well if they intend to tax energy to the tune of £60K over the same period you have made a saving. Invest and the banks get it. No investment, the Taxman gets it.

      Simples

      And its Greg Barker in charge of this one.

      Like

      • 82
        Casual Observer says:

        The problem is that if the generating capacity of the generator goes down to a third after 10 years, ie. The original 25 year assumption was wrong and the things only last 10-15 years, and they don’t produce for the lions share of the time when it is not windy….

        I guess they could set up observation posts and charge people to have a look at what happens when you put in bad energy policy.

        Like

  10. 16
    EU Funded Pro-EU Troll says:

    Vote UKIP.

    Like

    • 22
      LabLibCon = rotten to the core says:

      The only pro-EU trolls around here, are the LabLibCon-artist supporters.

      Like

  11. 17
    albacore says:

    Dear me, fancy asking Dave to shove his ring-fencing
    Where the sun don’t shine. Shirley there can’t be commencing
    The tiniest, loneliest, dimmest glimmer of hope
    That commonsense might prevail on a cast-iron dope

    Like

  12. 18
    green ink says:

    particularly during tightened times aid budgets come under regular scrutiny and in pure numbers it is difficult to justify increasing budgets but not before time UK aid is becoming more and more outcome driven rather than just pouring it into the coffers of corrrupt governments.

    when countries like us turn off the aid tap it sends the wrong message… were all developed nations to take a similar stance inevitably the potential for future developing democracies to ‘do the right thing’ for their populations is greatly diminished and our ongoing influence in their futures lessened.

    it is arguably even more crucial in these times of political and economic turmoil across the globe that the leading developed nations maintain the aid as a key ingredient of their international relations but unfortunately when the focus is purely on money the true rationale to justify the principles get lost in the ether.

    giving properly applied aid is a longer term strategy with few short term advantages but it would be ill considered to derail the framework of more targeted progress across the board.

    Like

  13. 21
    Anonymous says:

    Fair comments by Lord Ashcroft but…

    The whole Dept should be canned. We have an underused Foreign Office to deal with our overseas interests and DfTI for business development – if they worked together to help poorer nations build up business to trade their way out of poverty then we wouldn’t have to keep shelling out aid. I’m sure a clever accountant can look at our personal gifts to charity that goes overseas and I’ll bet it meets our international obligations.

    The only aid any govt should fork out for with taxpayers cash is major natural disaster relief.

    Like

    • 23
      LabLibCon = rotten to the core says:

      “poorer nations build up business to trade their way out of poverty”

      The DfID have no such remit. Their task is to ensure global poverty remains to appease the ‘green’ god they worship so fervently. Aid money is being squandered on subsidising wind farms and solar energy initiatives, so they can produce unaffordable ‘green’ energy and other worthless shite, for poverty stricken locals.

      Real development and trade, are not even on the agenda.

      Like

      • 29
        Old England says:

        An old “commie” farmworker i knew in the 60’s,used to say,”Charity promotes
        charity and there should be one tax,Income Tax”,because you do not really believe that yhey want to find a cure for cancer,as that would cut off a massive “Cash Cow…..”

        Like

        • 33
          The truth we get is lies says:

          You sure the old commie farm worker was a commie?, his hammer and sickle hit the right spot.

          Like

  14. 24
    F Regata, Mars says:

    When are those Indian lunar call-centres due to go live ?

    
    

    What do you mean, they’re behind schedule ?
    They should get their priorities right and not squander the aid dosh on warships.

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/342865/We-re-now-paying-for-India-s-Navy-as-it-spends-our-280m-aid-on-warships

    Like

  15. 31
    Glyn H says:

    Whilst closing Dfid, we could also shut down the Clinate Change dept, set up after the 2008 act, nonsense written by FotE and anti capitalist and Dept of ‘culture, media & Sport’, set up to give Mellor something to play with. They’d none if them be missed and HMG/Cabinet is far too large anyway!
    Begone all three!

    Like

  16. 32
    Stendahl, Usher 2, Mars says:

    Yes, when is the bloody aid going to arrive? I’m trying to get this house finished.

    Like

  17. 34
    Any Mouse says:

    Why should this broke country borrow money to GIVE to other broke countries?
    Apart from anything else, if an aided country cannot support its own population, that population is too large.
    In times of hunger species reduce in numbers by the death of their excess numbers.
    Tough ordure.

    Like

  18. 35
    Blah says:

    I am pretty ambivalent about foreign aid but the fact it annoys morons so much leads me to want to increase it

    Like

  19. 36
    ed millibanderer says:

    dave has to go

    Like

  20. 43
    Tom Catesby says:

    In these constrained times governments should be spending what money they have available at home, there are almost daily examples of real need in this country, hungry kids etc. If the money spent on the technical ambitions of other countries, like the Indian ‘space race’, is actually a kind of ‘sweetener’ which is hoped to lead to contracts for British firms, it would be better if the Govt’ mentioned it and told us what genuine results have been obtained thereby. Generally speaking charity should begin at home.

    Like

  21. 47
    Burger Off says:

    Forget alcohol minimum pricing. Instead put a heavy tax on those lardy dog turds in a bun that are passed off as food for plebs. Bring back the High Street and clear out all the fast food outlets.

    Today and Radio 4/5 Live are going overboard with the hopefully abandoned Scottish anti-alcohol lobbying. Stop the tax escalator and focus on the junk food/horseplay. Guess what is driving obesity……. and it’s not alcohol. Where’s the pressure to clear away all this crap?

    Like

  22. 49

    The fact that the three main parties have a common position on this helps to confirm the judgement that this is “comfort speak” from within their own bubble. It is all to do with making them feel good in themselves, when they know they are universally reviled. It is nothing to do with making things better for others. They might as well pour the cash straight into an incinerator.

    Like

    • 62
      Lard Prescott says:

      I say use the money to further subsidise the HoC eating and drinking establishments. In fact if they money will stretch to a -ve cost on booze and food all the better.

      Like

  23. 52
    Always look for the rat when.... says:

    …..there are two conflicting arguments for something.

    There are two arguments for international aid:

    1) It shows our compassion and has nothing to do with trade.

    2) We should do it to help us get into developing nations for a greater share of their future trade.

    Either it’s one thing or the other. If it’s compassion I agree with Ashcroft; if it’s trade then we shouldn’t be aiming at some arbitrary internationally horse-traded in a middle of the night percentage but what we can afford.

    Get real.

    Like

    • 97
      Jack the Ripper says:

      If British businesses want to donate, either directly or through the Government, in order to get a share of trade, then fine. Let them do it. Otherwise we have a situation where the taxpayer, on pain of prison, is forced to bankroll British business.

      Like

  24. 53
    Indian Dept of Lunar Call Centres says:

    How very dare this man. We are doing an important job here for the UK. How can the UK banks reduce their costs even further in order to ingratiate themselves with lovely bonus lolly, if they cannot house their call centres on the moon.

    Get a grip man.

    put put *wobbles head*

    Like

  25. 54
    "Broadsword you haven't called recently" says Danny Boy says:

    If it’s so important to the three Social Democratic party leaders perhaps they ought to tell is how much they have each given to overseas aid charities in the life of this Parliament. (Just to be clear paying fees to Eton of another private “charitable” seat of learning doesn’t count.)

    Like

    • 109
      Archie says:

      Complete fucking waste of money! Just look at all the dosh that we’ve chucked at Africa alone in the last sixty years and the entire fucking continent is STILL a colossal shit-hole!

      Like

  26. 55
    Brinx Matt Bobery says:

    The squeezed majority are caught in a pincer movement between taxation on the one hand and greedy and largely unregulated multinationals and finance institutions on the other. So if you earn the average £26K by the time you have paid PAYE, NI, Council Tax (itself almost one month’s income), Utility Bills (again another month’s income), Mortgage or rent etc there is diddly squat left. We need a massive redistribution away from the state and the multinational.

    Like

  27. 56
    dogleg says:

    Money is pouring out of the UK through many channels, including child benefits to Eastern Europe and now they want to increase the overseas aid budget? How is it going to be stopped? Cameron has to be removed and replaced by someone with brains, assuming such a person can be found amongst the current crop of MPs.
    This country is broke; we continue to hand money out like sweets but remove benefits from genuinely vulnerable and ill people in our own land. If anyone believes that there is NOT an agenda hidden underneath all this then they are naive.

    Like

    • 102
      DC says:

      You will have a problem findind working brain cells in the HoC these days they are all on a different agenda than the man in the street.

      Like

  28. 57
    Brinx Matt Bobery says:

    Oh and yes if Cameron and Osborne want to help those overseas let them use their own cash.

    Like

  29. 59
    Rt Hon Memeber for Wandsworth North says:

    The kedgerie is not up to par this morning

    Like

    • 63
      No. 27583519 says:

      Thanks for allowing us to play table tennis and watch TV, Guvnor. Stitching mailbags or breaking rocks is so hard on one’s hands. Prison is quite O.K. really in LibLabConLand

      Like

      • 65
        Holloway Harriet says:

        FFS get this Greek tart out of my cell. She keeps crapping on about some bloke called Curina Trimcnut all the time

        Like

    • 110
      Archie says:

      Er, that’s “kedgeree”!

      Like

  30. 60
    rebekah aka nellnewman says:

    The problem with the overseas aid budget is that it ends up in the pockets of charities who build themselves posh headquarters in London and pay their enormous staff high wages and expenses.

    And whatever’s left over goes to the government department for overseas aid (or whatever its called) to extend it’s own staff and their comfort.

    I suspect for every £1 of our money allocated by the government to overseas aid only a few pence ever reach a genuine aid target or someone in need.

    Like

  31. 61
    Raving Loon says:

    Better yet, end government foreign aid completely.

    Like

    • 105
      Any Mouse says:

      Let the buggers starve, The fewer of them, the more for us.
      Survival of the fittest/natural selection.

      Like

  32. 64
    rebekah aka nellnewman says:

    My understand of UK 0.75 of gdp to International Aid is that the last laour government made it a legally binding commitment on any future governments just before they fled office.

    Presumably they understood well enough, a la liambyrne, that there was no money left to meet the commitment they had made.

    Like

    • 71
      Synic says:

      It’s O.K. When the Liebour Government has to go to the IMF for a £2 trillion bailout in 2017, we’ll get all our money back from these other countries. Simples.

      Like

    • 76

      Blackstone (rephrased) states No Government can bind the actions of its successor. …. (I thought I posted it against your post but, unless I am going mad, quite possible, it has placed it further below.)

      Like

  33. 69
    MAD FRANKIE HADDOCK son of COD and COD FATHER of SOLE says:

    “But governments cannot be “compassionate” with money they have confiscated from their citizens on pain of prison.”
    Brilliant statement Has Ashcroft ever thought of standing and ousting Do Nowt Dave ?
    after all he does bankroll the tories

    Never bite the hand that feeds and all that

    Like

    • 79

      The very best of mornings to you, sir!

      To add a little cheer, could I invite you to look at the enclosed:

      http://bit.ly/ZGAMoh

      Just scroll down to the first picture. Does it remind you of your days in local government, I wonder?

      Like

      • 87
        MAD FRANKIE HADDOCK son of COD and COD FATHER of SOLE says:

        Yes indeed i used to work with many Tit’s
        it reminds me of last week ,i was working for a policewoman ( drug squad ) and she was off out on the town , she come out of the house in a mini skirt so small she might as well not bothered putting it on I’ll look at her in a totally different light from now on

        DroooooooL

        Like

        • 91

          Thought you would make that connection!

          I am normally an admirer of skinny females who generally have small, completely self-supporting breasts to which I attach my artistic considerations. Every so often, I see something like this splendid example which moves me off in the opposite direction. When you gaze upon breasticles of such proportion, you reason that they each seem bigger than the owners head.

          Mein Gott im Himmel!

          This young lady of yours was wearing a slightly oversized belt, I take it? Hope the missus didn’t catch you! :-)

          Like

  34. 70

    Blackstone (rephrased) states No Government can bind the actions of its successor.

    Of course, it can do things like borrow money which eats away at this principle or it can enter into treaty with similar effect.

    In the area of expenditure, such as international aid, then there is no reason why it cannot be stopped immediately IMHO.

    Like

  35. 72
    Mrs Jones at her wits end with young Owen says:

    Owen, get off to school NOW!, and stop pretending your a grown up.

    Like

  36. 73
    Owen's mummy says:

    OWEN. Stop moaning on about your pocket money and get to school.

    Like

    • 80
      Owen's Dad says:

      Owen. Lend us a fiver mate. I’ve run out of bennies, and I need to get a another bottle of cider ‘cos of me shakes.

      Like

  37. 75

    The end to ring-fencing of the aid budget is a distraction from the real problem which is out of control general and local government spending that has caused this

    http://www.businessinsider.com/g10-countries-by-total-debt-to-gdp-2011-12

    Like

  38. 77
    a non says:

    Family Benefits / Income support for many. International Aid. Green Energy. Minimum Alcohol Pricing etc etc.
    Doesn’t the UK Nanny State give you a warm glow inside knowing you have a caring government. either Red or Blue, looking after your own and the World’s best interests.

    Like

    • 85
      Edward II says:

      The red hot poker gave me a warm glow inside too. I think Dave would find one most efficacious.

      Like

  39. 83
    MAD FRANKIE HADDOCK son of COD and COD FATHER of SOLE says:

    Who has more molesters the Catholic church or the Lib Dems ?

    Like

  40. 88
    Huhne Watch says:

    As Chris has been moved into the nonce wing, following one night in clink of totally failing to make any friends, is he going to be more safe or less safe in practice ?

    Reports are indicating that he is likely to make his bird somewhat hard, which is to be expected (A!tken / Arch3r had much better idea), but not having practical experience of the prison system, has he just been moved into the fire or are they really going easy on him ?

    Like

  41. 95
    Gazza says:

    I will not vote Conservative while this situation continues. We are borrowing this money to give to others. Madness!

    Like

  42. 106
    Any Mouse says:

    Let’s make sure we stay that way by keeping OUR money in OUR country.

    Like

  43. 108
    Hi my name is ed says:

    what

    Like

  44. 111
    Archie says:

    Does that mean that there’ll be fewer fat kids here?

    Like


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VOTER-RECALL
Find out more about PLMR


Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann on Cameron’s refusal to pay the £1.7 billion EU bill by December 1st:

“Well, then he’s gonna pay on December 2nd”



Mycroft says:

Have you read the last bit of Animal Farm?

You know where the animals are looking through the Farmhouse window?

My TV screen was that window at lunch-time today.

Be careful, the sudden self-congratulatory tone, the slightly pudgy outline of indulgence and you become exactly what you should despise.

The jolly face of the Quisling Cameron poses for your camera has mesmerised and deceived you, you who were once not so deceived.

You were no firebrand, you were a damp squib in my opinion, sorry.

You need a damned good kick up the ahse!


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