David Cameron and Foreign Aid

Last Thursday, Prime Minister David Cameron received plenty of calls from voters who demanded cuts to foreign aid. They believe that foreign aid cuts will allow for savings thereby boosting the British economy. Despite Cameron’s attempts at protecting foreign aid and asserting that maintaining such aid is in the UK’s national security interest and it’s the morally right thing to do, people still think that foreign aid is a waste and it is their number one priority for cuts.

Philip Davies, a conservative member of parliament, suggests that ““The policy of borrowing more and more money we don’t have to hand to dictators in other countries is morally bankrupt and politically insane.” The main support for these foreign aid cuts has come from Tory party supporters and Independence party supporters. There has also been plenty of dissatisfaction among Conservative party supporters toward Chancellor George Osborne because of his failed policies, or his failure to fulfill what he claims to through his proposed policies to revive the British economy through tax cuts.

The main issue at hand concerns David Cameron’s actions against the public’s desires and his shift away from popular demands. The prime minister wants to meet the goal of giving 0.7% of gross national income to poor countries. The mentioned goal has been introduced by the UN in 1970 and since then, only 5 countries have met it: Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Luxembourg. This year, the UK’s prime minister wants to meet this goal too. Is the public failing to recognize and understand that the percentage given as foreign aid is in fact much less than they assume it to be? That may explain the public’s pressure on David Cameron to cut foreign aid and their firm opposition to foreign aid.

Leen Abdallah
Sources: Express, Guardian