British Aid Helped Pay for a [Pounds Sterling]2m Hotel in Barbados
Byline: Daniel Martin Whitehall Correspondent
HUNDREDS of millions of pounds of taxpayers' money are being used to fund aid projects in wealthy countries such as Brazil, China, Iceland and Barbados.
Despite a Coalition pledge that money would be targeted only at the most needy, Britain contributes to a European development aid budget which spends half its funds on middle and higher income nations. Among the projects being paid for are a scheme promoting tourism in an Icelandic national park and a pro-European Union television series in Turkey. And [pounds sterling]1.8million has been handed to the Caribbean island of Barbados to build a hotel and leisure complex where 200 youngsters will be trained each year in hospitality management.
The revelations will intensify the row over the UK's bloated aid budget, which will soon take up 0.7 per cent of our GDP at a time when vital public services are being pared to the bone.
One sixth of the Department for International Development's aid budget goes straight into the EU's aid programme. MPs described it as 'farcical' that Britain is handing money to countries such as Brazil, whose economy is expanding to such an extent that its GDP has actually overtaken ours.
In terms of GDP per capita, Barbados is wealthier than Portugal, Croatia and Hungary. But the EU has spent millions of pounds on the Hotel PomMarine complex, plus a forensic science laboratory, a language centre and support for the nation's financial sector.
Tory MP Dominic Raab said: 'It is farcical that the EU spends nearly a billion pounds of UK taxpayers' money and a significant proportion of Britain's aid on middle income countries.' Another recipient, Iceland, is also technically wealthier than the UK and is refusing to hand over [pounds sterling]2.3billion it owes us following the collapse of its banks four years ago.
Money is also being sent to Argentina, one of the G20 major industrial nations, which has ramped up the rhetoric over the Falkland Islands. …