Britain's PM suggests using foreign aid cash for military

AMRITSAR Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:42am IST

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (4th R) walks inside the premises of the holy Sikh shrine of Golden temple in Amritsar February 20, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (4th R) walks inside the premises of the holy Sikh shrine of Golden temple in Amritsar February 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

Related Topics

AMRITSAR (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron has raised the possibility of diverting hundreds of millions of pounds from foreign aid to defence and security.

Faced with anger in his ruling Conservative party about further possible defence cuts at a time when he says Britain must spend 0.7 percent of gross domestic product on foreign aid, Cameron told reporters he was interested in exploring ways to use money earmarked for foreign aid for wider security purposes.

He said the department for international development - whose budget for foreign aid is set to top 11 billion pounds by 2015 - already worked closely with the foreign and defence ministries, but that more could be done.

"If you are asking me can they work even more closely together, can we make sure that the funds we have at our disposal are used to provide basic levels of stability and security in deeply broken and fragile states, then I think we should," he told reporters on Wednesday during a visit to India.

"Can we do more, can we build on this approach? I am very open to ideas like that."

Britain deploys thousands of troops in Afghanistan and his comments could allow the government to use funds originally intended for foreign aid for what it regards as peace keeping, easing the strain on public finances.

That might placate some lawmakers in Cameron's party who regularly ask him how he can justify spending so much on foreign aid at a time when Britain's budget crunch is forcing the closure of hospitals, fire stations and police stations.

Britain's gross government debt was 89 percent of GDP in 2012, up from 44 percent in 2007, according to the International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook database. (Reporting By Andrew Osborn; Editing by Jason Webb)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

WORLD SHOWCASE

Algerie Crash

Algerie Crash

Bad weather seen as probable cause of Air Algerie crash  Full Article 

Russian Weapons

Russian Weapons

Russia transfer of rocket system to Ukraine rebels imminent - Pentagon  Full Article 

Gay Marriage

Gay Marriage

State judge strikes down Florida's gay marriage ban, stays ruling  Full Article 

Immigration Issue

Immigration Issue

Australia to ship Tamil asylum seekers to its mainland  Full Article 

Iraq Politics

Iraq Politics

Iraq's top cleric sends subtle message to Maliki - step aside  Full Article 

Flights Resume

Flights Resume

Lufthansa, Air Berlin to resume flights to Tel Aviv  Full Article 

Bus Restrictions

Bus Restrictions

China imposes airline-like restrictions on bus passengers in Xinjiang capital  Full Article 

Meat Scandal

Meat Scandal

In China meat scandal, McDonald's Japan switches to Thai chicken, no nuggets in Hong Kong  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage