20 October 2010
In response to the CSR today, Sam Bowman, Head of Research at the Adam Smith Institute, argues that the increase in DfID’s budget is indefensible in light of cuts to other departments:
“The Comprehensive Spending Review today makes necessary cuts in government domestic spending, but will raise the budget of the Department for International Development (DfID) by 37%.
“For example, the Treasury’s figures show a shrinkage of 23% in cumulative real terms for the Home Office between now and 2015 while at the same time showing an increase in DfID’s budget of 37% in cumulative real terms.
“Budgetary cuts are sorely needed, and to increase spending overseas while cutting spending in Britain beggars belief.
“Overseas aid is a waste of taxpayers’ money that props up dictatorships in sub-Saharan Africa and funds fast-growing countries like India, whose economy has grown by nearly 8.8% in 2010 and which has its own space and nuclear weapons programmes.
“Why the Chancellor thinks that the British taxpayer should fund the Indian space programme is unclear. At a time when the British government is cutting spending domestically it makes no sense to increase overseas aid spending. The government should slash DfID’s budget and end this budgetary double standard.”