While Slashing Services at Home, U.K. Raises Foreign Aid

The United Kindom has decided to increase its foreign aid budget, despite widespread opposition. The government announced that an additional £3.7 billion are to be dispersed, bringing the total aid from £7.8 billion to £11.5 billion in 2015.

Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said the decision was based on a “moral duty” to support the world’s disadvantaged. But his critics say that such charity should be directed toward domestic concerns, such as the national budget deficit.

“Aid saves lives, but it’s also in our national interest. Conflict, violent extremism, unchecked migration, drug trafficking–all can be addressed upstream by aid,” Mitchell told The Sun.

While that view is hotly contested, especially by aid critics like Bill Easterly and Dambisa Moyo, many governments feel that foreign aid is a critical protection against terrorism.

We reported last month on some very revealing statistics about support for foreign aid in the U.K. The term “moral imperative” was often used by survey respondents to express the importance of charity, though overall respondents did not support increasing foreign aid and preferred those funds to be used domestically.

Using the language of customers, or in this case constituents, is the first step in becoming a good marketer. It seems Prime Minister David Cameron may have taken a note or two from the poll–or even from Fast Company.

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[Image: flickr user Julien Harneis]