AN MP has branded the international economic group which dictates where overseas aid can be spent “out of touch morons” as the UK is unable to help British overseas territories hit by Hurricane Irma.
Shipley MP Philip Davies hit out at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) which sets strict rules on what officially counts as overseas aid, claiming Britain should be able to decide which countries it helps.
Mr Davies said: “It is bad enough that we have a bloated and wasteful and unaffordable overseas aid budget but it is even more ridiculous that we now learn that we cannot spend our overseas aid budget on our overseas territories.
“As we are getting back control from the unelected and unaccountable European Union can I suggest we now get back control over our own overseas aid spending from the unelected, unaccountable out of touch morons at the OECD, so we can spend our overseas aid budget on things we want to spent it on rather than things they tell us we can spend it on.”
Under international aid rules, Anguilla, Turk, Caicos and the British Virgin Islands are considered too wealthy to qualify for assistance and therefore cannot benefit from the UK’s £13 billion aid budget despite the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma.
Instead any UK emergency relief will come from other government budgets.
Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom: “Hurricane Irma which sparks his questions is an unprecedented disaster and it was absolutely right that the UK responded immediately to the needs of people affected. That was our primary focus and it continues to be our priority and we are now looking at how the current overseas aid rules apply to disasters such as this one.”
Yesterday (WED) Prime Minister Theresa May announced a further £15 million of assistance for the overseas territories in addition to the £32 million committed last week.
Mrs Leadsom added: “We have already deployed over 1000 military personnel to the area and sent more than 40 tonnes of aid. There is no lack in the UK’s assistance for these people who have been devastated by this awful natural disaster.”