Scandal of £15M taxpayers’ cash WASTED in anti-smoking classes in CORRUPT countries
A FRESH foreign aid row erupted yesterday after it emerged that Britain was paying for anti-smoking classes in some of world’s most corrupt countries.
The money will go to countries where political unrest is rife as part of the foreign aid budget.
Those set to receive the antismoking cash include Cambodia, Chad, Colombia, Egypt, El Salvador, Georgia, Jordan, Madagascar, Myanmar [Burma], Nepal, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Cabo Verde, Sri Lanka and Zambia.
Britain spends £15M in foreign aid to help foreigners quit smoking
It is more foreign aid madness
The scheme sparked fury with Ukip leader Paul Nuttall saying: “Our NHS needs a huge injection of cash so patients are treated as soon as possible, but meanwhile here is our government giving millions to support smoking cessation in far flung corners of the world.
“It is more foreign aid madness. It is right the UK gives aid for disaster relief and humanitarian projects but it is nonsense we hand it like confetti.”
Peter Whittle SLAMS UK’s foreign aid spending
It forms part of the UK’s Overseas Development Assistance and will be used to run anti-smoking campaigns.
The move has reignited debate over the scale and scope of Britain’s mammoth foreign aid commitment, which last year totalled £13.3billion.
John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance: “It is astonishing British taxpayers’ money continues to be spent in this way
“How can the WHO possibly see fit to lecture these people on the risks of smoking when many will have far greater concerns around issues such as their human rights?
“If the WHO is going to persist with such insensitive campaigns the UK Government must reconsider the vast amounts of taxpayers money it hands to these people.”
The foreign aid scheme sparked fury with Ukip leader Paul Nuttall
A senior civil servant admitted the department was “getting a lot of pressure” from the WHO to stump up the cash, adding: “There may also be criticism we are using public money to fund improving public health in other countries when we could be doing more at home.”
Despite this the DoH claimed the project was “more than defensible” yet would not be “promoting the project proactively”.
Figures published last month showed the NHS suffered its worst winter on record with nearly 200,000 patients waiting at least four hours in A&E.
Between December 2016 and February this year 195,764 patients waited at least four hours to be admitted to hospital, up from 40,791 in 2011.
It is the highest figure since records began. Emergency admissions in England rose from 1.3 million in winter 2011/12 to 1.44 million in 2016/17.
Meanwhile, cancer referral rates were at their second lowest level with 79.8 per cent of patients seen within 62 days of an urgent GP referral, below the health service benchmark of 85 per cent.
The lowest recorded level was 79.9 per cent in January.