Belfast Telegraph

Ukip vows to axe TV licence fee and to end ‘foreign aid bonanza’

Ukip said there was no proof that international aid limited migratory flows, and little evidence it helped economic growth in recipient countries.

Ukip has pledged to scrap the TV licence fee and slash foreign aid by £10 billion.

The party’s economics spokesman MEP Patrick O’Flynn said getting rid of the licence fee was about ending the mandatory nature of the levy rather than saving viewers’ money.

Mr O’Flynn said monies raised by the fee could be replaced by a mixture of subscription, advertising, and a public service broadcasting fund.

He said: “The point is not particularly to save money, the point is it will no longer be compulsory, so the individual consumers would decide if they wanted to spend £147, or thereabouts, a year on the BBC, or on something else.”

The MEP said Ukip wanted to end the “foreign aid bonanza” by cutting the amount given to international development from 0.7% of GDP to 0.2%, which would reduce the figure from around £14 billion a year to some £4 billion.

He said a cross-party consensus on foreign aid was “celebrity driven” as politicians sought the approval of stars such as U2 frontman Bono and Bob Geldof.

“The foreign aid bonanza has got to stop and the Ukip is the only party making the case for that in this election.

“At about £14 billion total aid spending is more than the Home Office spends on policing, border control, and anti-terror measures combined.”

Ukip said there was no proof that international aid limited migratory flows, and little evidence it helped economic growth in recipient countries.

Mr O’Flynn promised Ukip would get rid of green levies and taxes which he said would save households about £100 a year on energy bills.

Ukip leader Paul Nuttall claimed the European Commission believed Prime Minister Theresa May could be “pushed around” over the Brexit divorce bill.

“As far as Ukip is concerned we should not be paying anything at all. We believe the Prime Minister must make it clear to the Eurocrats that she is prepared to walk away because if she does not they will walk all over her and Britain will get a rotten deal,” he said.

The Liberal Democrats attacked Ukip’s plans for the international development budget.

Lib Dem foreign affairs spokesman Tom Brake said: “Ukip would cheerfully see a child starve to death if it won them some cheap, snarling clip on the evening news.”

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph