The ConDem-controlled Treasury will announce their plan to cut £12 billion off the public services expenditure next Monday, with half of that being reinvested in health, defence — and foreign aid.
Half of the £12 billion in “savings” will allegedly accrue from “austerity measures” in seven areas, including consultancy and travel costs, IT, and reductions from 70 of the government's major suppliers.
In other words, private contractors who supply government departments with goods and services are going to find themselves short changed.
This in turn will have a knock-on effect throughout the economy and is likely to increase business failures and personal bankruptcies.
The announcement that a portion of these savings is to be reinvested into foreign aid adds insult to the injury.
Just like its predecessor, the new regime places greater importance on helping foreigners with British tax money than it does the British people themselves.
An illustration of this inverted priority policy has come with a new press release from the Department for International Development (DFID) dated 17 May, in which the new
Tory DFID Secretary of State Andrew Mitchell announced cuts in certain “awareness” projects.
According to Mr Mitchell, “five existing projects will be stopped at once, saving over half a million pounds, while all other UK-based projects will be scrutinised in an urgent review. A further stop has been put on projects totalling more than £6.5m, with immediate effect.”
Projects which Mr Mitchell has ordered cancelled with immediate effect are the ones which the British National Party first raised to the public’s consciousness, and include:
- £146,000 for a Brazilian-style dance troupe with percussion in Hackney;
- £55,000 to run stalls at summer music festivals;
- £120,000 to train nursery school teachers about ‘global issues’;
- £130,000 for a ‘Global Gardens Schools Network; and
- £140,000 to train outdoor education tutors in Britain on development.
Before readers applaud Mr Mitchell for cancelling these obvious swindles, they should read on in the official DFID statement: “Funding will be redirected to areas where it will have a greater impact on global poverty, Secretary of State, Andrew Mitchell, said.
“At this difficult economic time, it is crucial that our money is spent where it makes the most difference. “Today I send a clear signal: value for money will be our top priority for aid.”
In other words, the money is not being “saved” but simply reallocated to another part of the foreign budget where its waste will not be so open to public ridicule.
* By way of comparison, the £9 billion foreign aid budget — which the ConDem regime will increase to £13 billion — completely overshadows the £87.5 million shortfall faced by the NHS’s Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.
In the South Wales Valleys, the Cwm Taf Health Board is predicting a £40.5 million spending gap, while the region’s other health boards also face significant shortfalls.
According to Dr Andrew Dearden, chairman of the British Medical Association’s Welsh Council, said that across Wales between £400 million and £600 million would have to be cut from NHS spending.