To aid or not to aid

  namtas 16:26 11 Feb 2014
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The Daily Mail has today launched a petition requesting that the UK government divert more of its £11 billion foreign Aid budget towards emergency use her in the UK.

I agree, and whilst not knowing the full story behind the need or use all of the aid sent overseas, I feel that quite often we appear to be more wiling to help others before our own.

  Aitchbee 21:19 11 Feb 2014

bumpkin - your council tax bill will get increased.

  bumpkin 23:14 11 Feb 2014

Perhaps their child might die of dehydration because drugs to treat a simple case of food poisoning weren't available I would have thought that that was the responsibility of their own government, i.e. if you have starving or sick children in your country then I would have thought that needs addressing with more priority than space programs.

  pavvi 00:36 12 Feb 2014

I think the Daily Mail would be better advised to put pressure on Cameron to come good on his promise rather than use the xenophobic red herring of foreign aid. I see nothing wrong in reviewing who gets what and for how long from time to time, but I fail to see the link between the flooding here and aid to the third world. There has been plenty of comment comparing the situation in Somerset to the third world, but I rather suspect the Ganges Delta in Bangladesh is where real deprivation (rather than relative deprivation) is seen. Yet the Mail seems to think to reduce the aid is fine.

The decision to allow building on floodplains has to be seriously looked into, and lessons learned. It has to be remembered that Somerset got it's name because it was only inhabited in the Summer as the regular winter flooding made the land difficult to live on.

Finally the politicalising of the issue while predictable, is deplorable. Some have jumped on the dredging bandwagon as if it's the answer to everything. The truth is that it will not simply increase the capacity of the rivers, but will also change the speed, and perhaps the direction of the flow. Appropriate dredging should indeed be done, but this should be done after thorough research, not canvassing political opinion from anyone who will put up a Tory poster in the window come 2015.

There used to be a time when the government of this country would put political differences aside in times of crisis...

  kad292 05:02 12 Feb 2014

Interesting aside to this debate is that Charles Windsor, whose Duchy Cornwall is, has not yet made a comment or visit that i know of,correct me if i am wrong.

  Quickbeam 07:50 12 Feb 2014

A government spokesman speaking on 5Live last night put it into perspective when he pointed out that the current overseas aid rate of 0.7% was only 70p out of every £100 that we spend on home soil, and that 70p wouldn't dramatically alter anything in relation to the flooding. Are we really so mean that we'd stop that meagre aid spend to divert into something that even King Canute would've admitted wasn't possible to hold back?

However, whether we should send foreign aid to countries that run a space programme is a very different thing...

  carver 09:57 12 Feb 2014

Isn't it a shame that at a time like this we can get into a them or us situation, personally I am not bothered were the money comes from as long as these poor souls get some aid.

Some of these farmers will have lost every thing because of this flooding and in a few months time we will all pay for it.

It's about time the Mail grew up and stopped whinging and put it's money were it's mouth is.

  oresome 10:11 12 Feb 2014

It would seem that we shouldn't take the PMs words too literally.

He said only yesterday that money was no object, but today a government minister says that there will be no blank cheque for flood relief efforts.

  spuds 11:03 12 Feb 2014

"but today a government minister says that there will be no blank cheque for flood relief efforts."

And that type of statement might even convince the public that one department doesn't seem to talk to another department before a statement is made. But I suppose it can all be blame on the way the present government as been formed, with two political party's trying to run the country at the same time?.

What I am surprised about, is nobody seems to have mentioned terms and conditions when foreign aid is provided. Even the Chinese are backing many countries with aid packages (and that perhaps even includes the UK), but in the long term they will also gain major benefits for their short term 'loans'.

  namtas 11:14 12 Feb 2014

I am a firm believer in providing help and support to overseas where it is going to genuinely help those in need, but I can understand that there are many who rightfully question that much of the aid is either not an emergency requirement, or not really needed. Or that the aid is not going to those to whom it was intended for. I don't have evidence but I have the impression that more checks and balances should be in place for the where and the who. I can see that it is for this reason that people are saying how about helping us more, It is not that they don't feel that we should provide some overseas aid.

  bumpkin 11:24 12 Feb 2014

fm, "The amount of aid in India amounts to 2% of the total. Are you really suggesting the 98% should end because the 2% wasn't ended earlier?" No I am not suggesting that, nor have I done so.

Foreign aid aside for the moment has anyone yet come up with a guestimate for the cost of our flood damage. Very difficult I appreciate.

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