Friday, February 4, 2011

UK spent overseas aid on Pope visit

The British MPs have asked ministers to clarify the reason for spending £1.85 million of overseas development aid on the Pope's visit to England.

A prominent Commons committee has requested the UK ministers to explain the surprising transfer of £1.85 million from the Department for International Development (DFID) to the Foreign Office.

The international development select committee chairman Malcolm Bruce said that the MPs would resist finding out why the government has spent DFID money which was "supposed to be for overseas development aid.”

"Many people will be as surprised as we were to discover that UK aid money was used to fund the Pope's visit last year,” said Bruce.

“Ministers need to explain exactly what this was spent on and how it tallies with our commitments on overseas aid", he added.

The overseas development aid is one of the UK economic sections, which was kept away from the coalition government's cut plans.

Pope Benedict's visit to UK last September was predicted to cost £10 million for the Whitehall departments. The Roman Catholic churchgoers have also donated to the costs of Pope's visit.

The Department for International Development's representative said, "DFID was one of a number of Government departments part-funding the Pope's visit to the UK.

"Our contribution recognised the Catholic Church's role as a major provider of health and education services in developing countries.

"This money does not constitute official development assistance and is therefore additional to the coalition Government's historic commitment to meet the 0.7% UN aid target from 2013."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...