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The Prime Minister is poised to cave to pressure from Tory backbenchers and allow a vote on the upcoming foreign aid cuts. The planned £4billion cuts to the foreign aid budget have been highly controversial, with 50 Tory rebels, including former Prime Minister Theresa May condemning the proposals. But several MPs and commentators have urged Mr Johnson to stand firm and not u-turn on the spending cuts.
Former Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib urged the Prime Minister to concentrate spending on the UK, to help with the pandemic recovery.
He told Express.co.uk: “He must not u turn.
“The pandemic has blown a hole in public finances.
“It has devastated many businesses. Taxes are due to go up.
“It makes no sense for Rishi Sunak to insist on increasing corporation tax to raise around £5 billion a year, only to give it away to foreign governments.
“Charity starts at home.
“If we wish to help developing countries we should trade with them on an equal footing.
“Charity never creates wealth. Trade does.”
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Similarly, Tory backbencher Andrew Bridgen urged Mr Johnson to stand firm and said the UK’s Foreign Aid policy shouldn’t be judged on cash alone.
He told Daily Express newspaper: “We should judge this policy on its outcomes not just how much cashpayers cash we throw at.
“We have given the world a Covid vaccine at cost.
“In doing that AstraZeneca have probably foregone £35 billion of revenue and that would probably have been around £7 billion of corporation tax, which is far more than the reduction in the aid budget.”
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Express.co.uk readers have also fumed over the proposed vote on the cuts, which Mr Johnson is said to be “actively considering”.
One person said: “That’s any tax rises off the table then, if you can afford to give away taxpayers’ money you have no justification to come back asking for more.
“The voters will have their say soon enough.”
A second person wrote: “The arrogance of MPs. Put it to a referendum vote, and we’ll see what the country wants, not vested interests.”
A third agreed a referendum was the right course of action, and said: “Some MPs seem to have forgotten who they represent, put it to the country in referendum and see what the people want. Foreign Aid – yes or no.”
Another person said: “Giving our money away, when it’s needed here more then ever, and the name that keeps coming to the surface, the worse prime minister in anyone’s life time Theresa (lying ) May.”
One reader added: “Wave goodbye to your voters then Boris! We are in debt and our Country coming out of a crisis build us up and we then take care of others!”
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