The Daily Express on aid spending and the NHS

The Daily Express today published the results of a poll they conducted, which found 84% of UK taxpayers would support using the foreign aid budget to fund the NHS, adult services and social care.

Researchers at OnePoll asked 1,000 people: “Do you think you would be in support of Britain scrapping some of its overseas foreign aid commitments so that the money was instead diverted to the NHS, adult services and social care?”

This is a leading question. The government has been consistently been clear on this issue: We do not face a stark choice between spending on international development or British healthcare.

There are a number of polls, whose results contrast with those of the Express.  One from 2016 by Eurobarometer found 89% of the UK public think it’s important to help people in developing countries.

This is the response which we gave to the Daily Express in response to their poll.

A government spokesperson said:

“We are spending more than ever before on the NHS and have increased funding in every year since 2010. We are also meeting our commitment to support the world’s poorest people as we tackle the root causes of global challenges that know no borders such as disease, mass migration and terrorism. This is firmly in our national interest as it makes the UK safer and promotes peace, prosperity and opportunity around the globe.”

Sign up to receive updates to DFID in the News into your inbox


  1. Comment by Janice Anderson posted on

    I am not a supporter of this government, but I do agree with the DFID position. We may have problems with the NHS but we are still one of the richest nations in the world and we should be doing our bit to deal with global poverty, disease, migration and terrorism.

  2. Comment by Tom posted on

    Sorry but there is a choice to be made. There's no reason money spent on ODA can't be spent on the NHS instead. A large proportion of aid spending would have better value helping the NHS, rather than funding a number of projects proven to have a minimal impact. The impact of aid spending needs to be considered in light of all priorities - not just spending to meet an arbitrary target. In many cases the outcome would be more positive by funding a struggling UK charity.


Leave a comment

We only ask for your email address so we know you're a real person