Today there was a debate on ITV’s Good Morning Britain about whether the UK’s aid budget should be diverted to spend on domestic issues such as strengthening flood defences.
Dr Adam Elliott-Cooper from the University of Oxford and Suzanne Evans, former deputy chair of UKIP discussed the issue on air.
The academic argued our aid budget helps the UK to maintain diplomatic relations and that there is an “economic imperative”, not just a moral one, for our aid spend. He went on to say that money used for aid does not divert funds from flood defences in the UK.
Suzanne Evans presented the opposite side of the debate, arguing the aid budget should be reduced and this extra money should be spent on domestic issues.
The UK Government’s position is clear, and was carried on the programme.
We do not need to make a choice between tackling extreme poverty across the globe and investing in flood defences at home. We are doing both.
DFID works with departments across the whole of government to make sure UK aid is tackling global challenges that affect us in Britain as well, including climate change.
The UK Government is already investing £2.6 billion in more than 1,000 flood schemes across the UK and recently announced support for individuals whose homes and businesses were affected by the recent storms.
Since 2015, 200,000 homes have been protected and over 600 flood defence schemes have been completed.
As set out in the Government’s manifesto, the UK has pledged £4 billion in new funding for flood defences over the next five years.
The UK Government has activated the emergency Bellwin scheme to provide financial support to qualifying affected areas and we’re continuing to work closely with councils to ensure that affected communities and businesses can recover as quickly as possible.