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…


  1. 1
    Kebab Time says:

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

  2. 2
    Anonymous says:

    Mecha Old Holborn needs to lose some weight

  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.

  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

  5. 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!?

  6. 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?

  7. 7
    Pissed again? says:

    Perhaps his red wine came from bulgaria?

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 10
    Blowing Whistles says:

    Alisatair FUCKING Campbell for instance.

    ‘Oh but look at my support for so many charities – I’m a fucking saint and you can’t question me ….’

  11. 11
    Polly Tax says:

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

  12. 12
    Jimmy says:

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

  13. 13
    Jimmy says:

    Not to mention the amount DFID has spent dealing with this little lot:

  14. 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.

  15. 15
    Casual Observer says:

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

  16. 16
    EU Funded Pro-EU Troll says:

    Vote UKIP.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 19
    JabbaTheCat says:

    Third para from end says “There is no suggestion of wrongdoing on the part of Ashcroft.”

  20. 20
    JabbaTheCat says:

    Ashcroft flies over island and tells local radio station they could do with an airport. This is news? No wonder the Grauniad is losing money hand over fist…

  21. 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.

  22. 22
    LabLibCon = rotten to the core says:

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

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 25
    Hugh Janus says:

    Hear, hear!

  26. 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…

  27. 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.

  28. 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.


    And its Greg Barker in charge of this one.

  29. 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…..”

  30. 30
    George Moronbiot says:

    I love charity work

  31. 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!

  32. 32
    Stendahl, Usher 2, Mars says:

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

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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

  36. 36
    ed millibanderer says:

    dave has to go

  37. 37
    Oh dear, dear says:

    Dee Lusional is putting it mildly.

  38. 38
    Chris (Wandsworth resident) says:

    Can I have a fence around my ring, please?

  39. 39
    labourunionsbbc are one under the EU says:

    These sir, are the facts.

  40. 40
    Kent Constable says:

    yes. and charity begins at home!

  41. 41

    Achievements Dave in 2015. £1.5 TRILLION Debt. Gay Marriage legalised.

    Fuck off now Dave you spendthrift PC bastard.

  42. 42

    NOW !!!!!

  43. 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.

  44. 44
    Blah says:

    We better deal with the surplus UKIP mouths in this country then

  45. 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.

  46. 46
    Screwed Taxpayer says:

    How much are you giving personally to foreign despots? Or is it just other peoples’ taxes you want to give away? Fuck off.

  47. 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?

  48. 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…

  49. 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.

  50. 50
    Another of the Politcal Elite Scams says:

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

  51. 51
    Madness says:

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

  52. 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.

  53. 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*

  54. 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.)

  55. 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.

  56. 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.

  57. 57
    Brinx Matt Bobery says:

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

  58. 58
    Grauniad says:

    Was that island part of the Malvinas? If so Argentina should decide if their island needs an island not us.

  59. 59
    Rt Hon Memeber for Wandsworth North says:

    The kedgerie is not up to par this morning

  60. 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.

  61. 61
    Raving Loon says:

    Better yet, end government foreign aid completely.

  62. 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.

  63. 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

  64. 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.

  65. 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

  66. 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.

  67. 67
    PC Davey and Giddy says:

    But that wouldn’t give us coalition stalwarts the same warm self-righteous glow.

  68. 68
    Lord Everard Rennard says:

    Charities you say. I’m just too modest to tell you about all I do for ladies’s charities.

  69. 69

    “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

  70. 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.

  71. 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.

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

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

  73. 73
    Owen's mummy says:

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

  74. 74
    Tosser Dave says:

    The reason is simple. I am a self-righteous PC idiot.

  75. 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

  76. 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.)

  77. 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.

  78. 78

    morning young man how art thou ?

  79. 79

    The very best of mornings to you, sir!

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

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

  80. 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.

  81. 81

    Just posted to you at the same time. Be sure to look at the link. It will warm your cockles on this cold morn. Lol

  82. 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.

  83. 83

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

  84. 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

  85. 85
    Edward II says:

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

  86. 86
    Casual Observer says:

    Double whammy — Libdum Kaff Licks

  87. 87

    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


  88. 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 ?

  89. 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.

  90. 90
    Royal British Legion dominoes club says:

    I call it doing a Savile

  91. 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! :-)

  92. 92
    Royal British Legion dominoes club says:

    Ooh ‘ark at ‘er… Bitch…

  93. 93

    I am not surprised! I shall look out for it, always assuming that our host has not lapsed back into conventional Catholic piety – LOL!

  94. 94
    Carruthers says:

    Island population 3500. Airport (international standard) cost £350 million!. Airport contractor South African!!! Labour force South African. Future staffing ??? – there ar’n’t enough Islanders? Future financial viability questionable – the Island has no modern hotels only one or twp guest houses. Te Island needed an all weather airstrip at a cost of £50 million. More aid profligacy,

  95. 95
    Gazza says:

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

  96. 96
    FarageForPM says:


  97. 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.

  98. 98
    Jimmy says:

    Perish the thought.

  99. 99
    Lord Ashcroft says:

    FFS tou twat

  100. 100
    Lord Ashcroft says:

    FFS again you twat

  101. 101
    Lord Ashcroft says:


  102. 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.

  103. 103
    Lord Browne says:

    FFS who really cares and if they do let them fund the fuckers.

  104. 104
    Lord Browne says:

    I dont think as much as that goes in aid.

  105. 105
    Any Mouse says:

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

  106. 106
    Any Mouse says:

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

  107. 107
    Gerry Mandering says:

    Your are Malthus and I claim my £5.00

  108. 108
    Hi my name is ed says:


  109. 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!

  110. 110
    Archie says:

    Er, that’s “kedgeree”!

  111. 111
    Archie says:

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

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