Three policy areas are exempt from the Coalition Government’s budget plans to slow down the increase in spending. In addition to the well publicised increases on health spending, the Department for International Development and Britain’s payments to the European Union continue to rise rapidly. In addition to the significant and rising (£5.9 billion last year, £6.7 billion this year and £7.2 billion next) sums Andrew Mitchell hands out to various foreign governments and aid projects, a report by Open Europe has shown the EU also has a £10 billion aid budget all of its own (British share of the bill is £1.4 billion), the Daily Telegraph reports.
So where does the EU spend its 11-figure budget?
Belgian dance teachers were recruited to teach people in Burkina Faso – where half the population lives off less than 70p a day – through a project called “I Dance Therefore I Am”
Expressive tax rises?
Turkey receives a cool half a billion, twice as much as Afghanistan, despite being over ten times richer. But Turkey applied to join the EU in 1987 and, despite seemingly implacable French and Greek opposition, is still officially an accession country which, in Brussels, counts as a reason to spend a lot of money. Oppressive and corrupt countries also do well. Malawi too will receive almost half a billion pounds over 5 years despite its president, Bingu Mutharika, having bought an airplane after the most recent donation.
Few people will argue that there are many needy people in desperate situations in some of the countries upon whose corrupt governments the EU is lavishing cash and expressive dance troupes. But none of this should leave officials feeling smug. Giving away other people’s money isn’t generous. EU bureaucrats should trim back their excesses, leave international aid to national governments & individual charity and abandon their generosity-by-proxy.