Tom Goodenough Tom Goodenough

What the papers say: Foreign aid, commuter misery and financial market woes

Leaving the EU was all about taking back control – and it’s time to do the same with Britain’s foreign aid budget, says the Daily Telegraph. It describes the target set by David Cameron for the UK to spend 0.7 per cent of its GDP on foreign aid as ‘ill-judged’. Making a comparison with the Brexit vote, it warns the Government to listen to voters’ concerns about the levels of spending on aid projects, ‘given that the aid target is at least as unpopular with voters  as EU membership was’. The Telegraph goes on to label the money spent on aid projects abroad as having ‘undemocratic origins’ – suggesting that the target for spending is ‘beloved by metropolitan elites’ but largely derided by taxpayers and voters who don’t get a say on where their money goes.

The Daily Mail agrees. The paper says that after the ‘countless stories’ of ‘flagrant waste’ in the way Britain’s foreign aid is spent it’s hard to be shocked – but the paper claims today to have found a story which does just that. The Mail says that the £1bn handed out to thousands of people in some of the most corrupt countries around the world since 2011 amounts to ‘exporting the dole’ – and the paper’s editorial suggests such a use of British taxpayers’ money is madness. So, should the Government stop spending on foreign aid altogether? No, says the Mail: but it’s time to spend it properly. Building hospitals and schools and providing clean water should be the priority, the paper says – not simply dishing out cash.

Many workers face the grim prospect of the daily commute today as millions of Brits return to the office.

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