REGARDING foreign aid and the proposed reduction to 0.5% of GDP.

Foreign aid at 0.7% equates to £15 billion per year. An eyewatering £1,250 million every month.

Given our current problems, which we didn’t have when 0.7% was introduced, I don’t think we can afford this.

Due to Covid, we don’t have spare cash, we have borrowed trillions.

Removing any percentage commitment to overseas aid does not mean the UK will stop donating.

We can then give aid where it is really needed, no scramble to find questionable “worthy causes” to support, just to make sure it gets spent.

The civil servants responsible must be overwhelmed by the amounts involved, how can it be properly controlled?

Aid has gone to many undeserving causes (letter George Birkett 30th Nov) or fails to reach its destination.

We provided UK money to pay the wages of the Free Syrian Police, taken in cash over the Turkish border from Gaziantep. One of the registered police stations didn’t exist, neither did the 57 recorded policemen.

This was deliberate fraud and the money disappeared.

Foreign aid needs to be properly controlled, otherwise people like Robert Mugabe will continue to become millionaires.

Bribery and corruption is endemic in Africa and the Middle East (personal business experience) so aid is always subject to possible fraud.

Perhaps some of the £15 billion could be used to help UK pensioners, many of whom are also suffering social and economic hardship?

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