LAST week Parliament committed to spending at least 0.7 per cent of our gross national income on development aid. That is great news for our effort to support communities around the world, but now we need to make sure that our aid money is spent in the right way. An increasing amount of our aid budget is being spent on supporting big business. £140 million of UK aid money has been spent on projects supporting controversial energy privatisation in Nigeria. This has already lead to price hikes, job losses and more blackouts. We can and should use aid money to improve peoples’ lives. Instead of using aid to benefit corporations, we should use it to build democratic, affordable and sustainable energy systems. There are successful examples all around the world – from co-operatives in Bolivia and the UK to public ownership in Uruguay.
Herne Bay Times, April 1st 2015