Why there is no money for safer road infrastructure....
I decided to post this after reading some of the comments on the Chris Boardman feature thats currently running about helmets and safer roads being the answer.
I did a bit of digging and there was actually an article in the Daily Mail today about foreign aid and its cost. This is from the headline;
George Osborne is poised to approve a £1billion increase in foreign aid to meet the Government’s controversial spending target.
The Chancellor has cheered Tory backbenchers in recent years by repeatedly cutting the foreign aid budget to ensure it does not exceed David Cameron’s pledge to devote 0.7 per cent of Britain’s income to the issue.
But better than expected growth figures mean that when he makes his Autumn Statement on the economy on Thursday, Mr Osborne is facing the prospect of having to increase foreign aid in order to hit the spending threshold.
The money involved is expected to total around £1billion over the next five years, although the Chancellor is understood to have avoided the need to provide extra cash in this financial year.
The move will fuel criticism that the ‘arbitrary’ aid target is more about political posturing than saving lives.
In August it emerged that Nigeria, which will receive £1.14billion in foreign aid from Britain over the five years of the Coalition, is spending millions to put a man in space.
The oil-rich country is also mired in corruption. Estimates suggest between £2.5 and £5billion is stolen from the state’s coffers every year by corrupt officials and politicians.
Britain is also spending about £280million a year on aid to India, another country with its own space programme.
Mr Cameron’s pledge to hit the aid target was part of a pre-election strategy to ‘decontaminate’ the Tories’ uncaring image, but he has come under pressure to drop it in the wake of the financial crisis.
In March, Mr Osborne said the aid budget would hit £11.2billion this year – more than the Home Office budget.
Aid was cut in the Budget, when the growth forecast for this year was reduced from 1.2 per cent to 0.6 per cent.
Experts believe the forecast is likely to be upgraded to 1.4 per cent this week, requiring the Chancellor to at least reverse the March cuts, which amounted to £1billion over five years.
The Treasury declined to comment, but confirmed that the 0.7 per cent aid target will be met. The Department for International Development also declined to comment.
Now imagine what you could do to make Britains roads safer with just a small portion of that money..........