As the world’s second-biggest economy lands a third moon landing to bring back lunar rocks to China, the Department of Business Enterprise and Industrial Strategy is sending the Chinese £478,906 to help them grow more rice. What next, sending sand management consultants to Saudi Arabia?
The half-a-million in spending was uncovered by the Taxpayers’ Alliance, Guido doesn’t see why Britain’s taxpayers should be sending foreign aid to nations that are nuclear powers with space programmes. If a country wants to prioritise nuclear weapons, British taxpayers should not be effectively subsidising that. In the event of emergencies and natural disasters – like famine, flooding and earthquakes – we can make an exception.
If the government is going to amend legislation to make the 0.5% aid budget permanent, it would be a good opportunity to add a clause preventing aid being sent, as a matter of course, to nations with nuclear weapons. So China would not normally be a recipient of foreign aid. This would also exclude nations such as the three unofficial nuclear powers which have not ratified the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty – India, Israel, Pakistan. The Foreign Secretary would have to certify that the aid being sent to such a country is for an urgent emergency.