70% favour curb on UK’s foreign aid

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Seven in ten people think Britain spends too much on international aid, polling evidence revealed today, amid rows over the future spending priorities of the government.

Prime Minister David Cameron committed on entering office to protecting the Department for International Development (DFID) budget and bringing Britain’s aid budget up to 
0.7 per cent of GDP. This year, about £6.7 billion was allocated to the department.

However, only 7 per cent of respondents to ComRes polls believe the government should stick to its plan to increase aid spending and shield it from cuts hitting much of Whitehall.

Publication of the figures follows Defence Secretary Philip Hammond calling for the defence budget to be protected from further austerity by cutting the welfare budget.

Mr Cameron suggested last month some of the DFID budget could be used to supplement defence spending in parts of the world where Britain is working to support peace.

In a further finding of the poll, almost two thirds of people – 64 per cent – said Britain should stop sending international aid to India. Some 13 per cent backed continuing aid, while 23 per cent said they did not know.