As pensioners are ferried out of their homes by dinghy, and the fields of Somerset are replaced by lakes, here is a question to which nobody has so far given a satisfactory answer: why shouldn’t we divert money from the aid budget to help victims of flooding?It’s a good question. And the answer seems to be, errr, because, ummm…
This is a critical moment for the aid budget. It hardly matters that, as the Department for International Development (DFID) has pointed out, European regulations would prevent any aid money being spent in this country.So don’t give them any aid money in the first place. Just turn off the money tap (apologies for the rather cruel metaphor!).
What is at stake here is whether aid spending can stand up for itself when there is a very visible, very emotional case to siphon off some of the £11bn budget (which will reach 0.7% of GDP this year) for stricken Brits.I guess it can't. So pull out.
So why not transfer to Somerset? Because suffering in Somerset is mild compared to that in Bangladesh. Because there’s already plenty of money in and political attention on these floods. And because although Britain’s attempts to reduce poverty aren’t perfect, we owe the world more than a turned back.We do..?