One cut that won’t offend voters
IPN News coverage
London Evening Standard
Julian Harris: jharris = at = policynetwork.net
David Cameron’s attempt to rid the Conservatives of their “nasty party” tag is most likely at the heart of his cautious approach to budget cuts, as Matthew d’Ancona suggests.
The increase in foreign aid is one attempt to move from nasty to nice in public perception. Yet a recent poll showed only six per cent felt foreign aid should be ring-fenced, while 43 per cent called for cuts.
Economist Paul Collier’s assessment that “around 40 per cent of Africa’s military spending is inadvertently financed by aid” resonates with people. The British public will, honourably, support disaster relief, such as help with the horrific floods in Pakistan. But that is very different from propping up overbearing rulers in poor countries.
The Conservatives would do better to heed Bob Geldof, who recently said: “Poverty can only be eliminated through trade and investment.” Allowing poor countries to trade more freely with Britain would help development- and be free to the taxpayer.
International Policy Network
Letter published in print, not available online.