West Midlands MEP James Carver has reacted angrily to revelations that our government has given £1bn of taxpayers cash as handouts in Pakistan.
Families there get bank cards loaded with British funds to withdraw from cashpoints to boost their incomes. Around 235,000 families benefit and it is planned to increase the numbers to 441,000 by 2020.
“How can this be good use of our bloated foreign aid budget?“ said Mr Carver.
“ Naturally, I'm all in favour of doing our best to assist our Commonwealth kith and kin, and we have ensure that we utilise our links to these countries, including Pakistan, for mutually beneficial free trade deals after we escape from the EU.
“But handing over £1bn during the last five years, in unaccountable cash, to individuals cannot be justified. Priority should be given for that budget to be used for emergency aid, health programmes and initiatives that provide sanitation and clean water.
“Giving such cash payments in a country that has its own nuclear weapons and space programmes is just not right. As UK taxpayers face more and more cut, meanwhile ,we are providing cash benefits to the citizens of Pakistan.
“Giving handouts is never a proper solution to poverty. Only trade and jobs will provide the financial security and growth needed,” said Mr Carver, UKIP Commonwealth spokesman.
“UKIP is calling for the foreign aid budget to be reduced by £9bn, freeing up resources for the priorities of the British people such as adult social care,” he added.