•UKIP MEP Paul Nuttall has called on the government to drop plans to increase foreign aid spending – and instead use the cash to aid dementia research.
“A powerful committee of peers has now urged David Cameron to abandon his pledge to increase aid spending by 37% to more than £12 billion a year. But will he take any notice?
“We have already read how India says it does not want our aid and the cross-party economic affairs committee has now pointed out that ‘large and prolonged aid programmes can have a corrosive effect on local political systems when the priority becomes to attract aid rather than solve problems’,” said Mr Nuttall.
“We are living in dire financial times and the saying ‘charity begins at home’ has never been truer. There are plenty of people in this country who need aid. This is not being hard-hearted about needy people abroad – it is about getting our priorities right.
“Cameron’s announcement that funds for dementia research and detection are to be doubled to £66 million a year is obviously to be welcomed. But frankly that is a drop in the ocean when it comes to the costs to the country in both financial and emotional terms of this dreadful illness, which devastates the lives of victims and their loved ones.
“Instead of giving away our taxpayers money abroad some of those foreign aid billions should be immediately ploughed into dementia research and care,” said Mr Nuttall.