13 February 2014

Daily Mail and UKIP attack UK foreign aid

Movement is afoot in the UK to divert foreign aid towards relief for people affected by recent flooding. The tabloid the Daily Mail joined the right-wing UK Independence Party (UKIP) in calling for a portion of the UK’s £11 billion foreign aid budget to help victims of flooding along the Thames Valley.

Heavy rains in the UK have flooded more than 5,000 properties in the past two months. It has been so severe in some cases that thousands of homes have been evacuated and hundreds have been rescued. Prime Minister David has come under criticism for his handling of the crisis. Among the most vocal complaints have been about the foreign aid budget.

“Charity begins at home. There’s a real emergency,” argued Philip Hollobone, a Minister of Parliament for Kettering. ”The overwhelming majority of my constituents would like to see this money spent on alleviating the misery of the people in the West Country.”

Hollobone fell in line with UKIP leader Nigel Farage who attacked the foreign aid budget on Sunday. He criticized the government for acting to help people out when disasters strike elsewhere, but failing to do so when it happens at home.

“The aid budget is about us giving money abroad but what are we doing giving money to India, who have their own space projects?” asked Farage. “Wouldn’t it be brilliant to see the British Government say ‘yes, we’re going to put our own struggling country first?’”