Rutland MP Alan Duncan urges people to back Government over international aid

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RUTLAND’S MP has urged people to support the Government’s decision to increase the UK’s international aid budget.

Alan Duncan, who is international development minister, has called for an end to “aid-bashing” after the Government decided to increase the budget from £7.8bn to £11.5bn this year.

This week the Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, said the decision will make Britain an “aid superpower” admired by other countries.

His comments have sparked a backlash from a number of Conservative MPs.

Mr Duncan said: “Britain should be proud of its international aid.

“We are a world leader in how aid can be delivered and it’s a pity to see so much aid-bashing around when we should be helping the world’s poorest people. Many of them don’t even have a tap to turn on in the morning.

“We have had the Pakistan floods and collapsing countries like Yemen and it’s essential we continue our aid and help to make the world a better place.”

The decision to increase support for other countries in crisis by 34 per cent comes at a time when Britain is facing its own financial problems and budget cuts.

But Mr Duncan is adamant that Britain’s own problems should not impact on the support the country offers to other nations.

He added: “Effective aid programmes need continuity. Even if we slice the international aid budget, it won’t solve our own problems.

“We shouldn’t leave the poorest people to suffer just because our bankers and politicians have made such a mess of the UK.”