Consultation: Should Britain give aid to countries with space and nuclear programmes? Watch

Saracen's Fez
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I'm the Foreign Secretary in the TSR government in the Model House of Commons, and part of my job involves looking after the development aid that we give to other countries. I plan to make a statement on our government's foreign aid policy in the next couple of weeks, but before I do that I am opening up this public consultation to hear your views.

The issue we are consulting on is whether Britain should continue to give aid to countries that have a space or a nuclear programme. Putting aside the European Space Agency, in which Britain participates, there are 13 countries that have a space agency with launch capabilities. Alongside the UK, 8 other countries have a nuclear weapons programme. Yet whilst Pakistan, for example, has a nuclear weapons programme, it received £463 million in UK aid in 2016 – more than any other country. The UK is also in the process of giving £98 million to India, which has both nuclear weapons and a space programme.

Is it right that Britain gives large sums of money in development aid to countries like this? Does having a space and/or nuclear weapons programme mean that a country is developed enough to not justify development aid? Or does the fact that many normal people in countries like this still live in poverty mean that we should still give aid to help alleviate that poverty?

(This thread is part of a Government Consultation from the Model House of Commons. You can get involved in our other threads here.)
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BlueIndigoViolet
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The Sun reported in its Boxing Day edition that the UK government plans to provide £98 million in aid to India over a two-year period even though it is expected to become the world’s third biggest economy by 2030.

The UK no longer gives any money to the Government of India.

More than half of the projected £98 million will be invested in Indian enterprises, while the rest funds technical expertise. Together these help develop new markets, whist creating jobs for some of India’s poorest and marginalised people.


https://dfidnews.blog.gov.uk/2018/12...an-government/

Foreign investment is fine as in India as is donations to charitable organisations operating in such countries, would be wary if they even need UK aid and if it could be better spent through means other than donations to governments
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Napp
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Since when is $98mn considered a 'large sum of money'? The government loses that on a regular basis on far less salient topics.
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04MR17
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(Original post by Napp)
Since when is $98mn considered a 'large sum of money'? The government loses that on a regular basis on far less salient topics.
It's money that could be spent elsewhere. And this figure cited is for 1 country over 2 years - I don't have numbers for the rest but you can imagine that adding up all of the countries the UK gives aid to would result in a much larger amount of money.

I'm sure there are plenty of other government departments who would like to see that money, and it's important that the government gets it right when deciding what the best thing to spend on is.
Last edited by 04MR17; 2 weeks ago
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Saracen's Fez
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(Original post by 04MR17)
It's money that could be spent elsewhere. And this figure cited is for 1 country over 2 years - I don't have numbers for the rest but you can imagine that adding up all of the countries the UK gives aid to would result in a much larger amount of money.

I'm sure there are plenty of other government departments who would like to see that money, and it's important that the government gets it right when deciding what the best thing to spend on is.
For comparison, the total UK foreign aid budget is approximately £14bn.
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Napp
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(Original post by 04MR17)
It's money that could be spent elsewhere. And this figure cited is for 1 country over 2 years - I don't have numbers for the rest but you can imagine that adding up all of the countries the UK gives aid to would result in a much larger amount of money.

I'm sure there are plenty of other government departments who would like to see that money, and it's important that the government gets it right when deciding what the best thing to spend on is.
Maybe but the point stands, it is a tiny amount of money and one that is dwarfed by what the government spends on stationary (to name but one thing) which was rather my point
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04MR17
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(Original post by Napp)
Maybe but the point stands, it is a tiny amount of money and one that is dwarfed by what the government spends on stationary (to name but one thing) which was rather my point
So your point is we shouldn't be having this discussion and you'd rather talk about how much the government should be saving on staplers?
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Napp
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(Original post by 04MR17)
So your point is we shouldn't be having this discussion and you'd rather talk about how much the government should be saving on staplers?
My point was stop complaining about what is effectively a non-amount of money.
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04MR17
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(Original post by Napp)
My point was stop complaining about what is effectively a non-amount of money.
I've not seen anybody complaining. :confused: This is a consultation and nothing more.
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ThomH97
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I'd rather invest that money in British enterprise and jobs, and try to encourage the foreign governments to do likewise for their citizens. I don't know what the threshold for not needing help should be, but I would say building nukes and spaceships is way past that.
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shadowdweller
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I think that if homelessness/poverty, for example, are still big issues in the countries, then them having a nuclear/space programme does not negate the help that money could do for people there.
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Certificate
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(Original post by ThomH97)
I'd rather invest that money in British enterprise and jobs, and try to encourage the foreign governments to do likewise for their citizens. I don't know what the threshold for not needing help should be, but I would say building nukes and spaceships is way past that.
Such as our steel making industry? I know that's one enterprise I'd definitely invest some of that money into if I had it my way.
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LiberOfLondon
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I would say no; foreign aid should be used in wartorn areas, not to fund space programmes.
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sachinisgod
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India doesnt want UK money... it has itself just announced a $1bn credit to Russia for them to develop their Eastern part.. The UK government is hell bent on spending money on foreign aid because they receive kickbacks when it goes through charities and enterprises ( ''Development aid')
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MathsMania
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If the money helps funds NGOs and small charities that impact people in India who really really need it, I would say its worth it. India does have a really huge class divide, and it's good that the money doesn't go straight to govt who could spend it on nuclear weapons but it will impact the impoverished and improve many lives. I'm for it.
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