Floods and Foreign Aid

The tragedy of life is often not in our failure, but rather in our complacency; not in our doing too much, but rather in our doing too little; not in our living above our ability, but rather in our living below our capacities – Benjamin E. Mays

You would have thought by now, given year after year of terrible floods for various parts of the UK, that the government would be channelling funds into our wholly inadequate flood defences.

But no, that is far too sensible for Osborne. The UK’s flood defence budget was reduced by over £100 million this year, the biggest reduction since 20011. A fact that would probably be met with immense anger by the poor people of Cumbria, were it not for their overwhelming despair.

Thousands of peoples property, belongings and livelihoods are damaged or destroyed. Most are more than certainly homeless for Christmas. Floods are now an annual occurrence, its not like the government can claim to be surprised at yet another devastating deluge that has ruined lives.

As all is too common though, the Tories in their complacency are keen to slash money from vital budgets, whilst not even considering looking at other elephants in the room.

Yes foreign aid budget, I’m looking at you.

The foreign aid budget sits at a staggering £11.1 billion this year, set to increase to £14.2 billion by 2020. That is more money than is going to be allocated to our own bloody Home Office! That’s right, in 2020 we will spend more on aid, than the department that includes our police funding.

The governments response to the Cumbria floods has been predictable. A quick scramble to offer £5,000 per family affected, and the promise that no one will face any council tax or business rates

Whilst the first part will be welcome, its still a paltry sum. What’s £5,000 going to cover when the majority of your house and property have been destroyed, especially when you consider only 15% of the victims of last years floods have received the money they were promised?

The second part about no local taxes is just a piss take. That isn’t an offering, it should be a given. They have no homes or business to tax at the moment, directly because of the governments inaction.

But here is a suggestion, how about we peel off a significant proportion of the foreign aid budget to create world class flood defence systems, so that people don’t need help in the first place?

A crazy idea I know, but I have a feeling it may work. Most people are agreed prevention is better than a cure.

The current and previous governments were quick to shout down people that moaned about the foreign aid budget, claiming we lacked compassion. That we need to help the worlds poor and displaced.

Yes, as one of the richest countries in the world, we do have a duty to do those things. But the priority of the government is to protect its people first and foremost. My compassion currently lies with the people of Cumbria, as should theirs.

If they think allowing our own populace to be flooded out of their homes, whilst paying £2 billion for other countries to have top notch solar power is the right way to go about it, then they need a rethink.

Its been said again and again that we need to start looking after the people of this country more, before looking to help the world, and in cases like Cumbria that’s is what we need to do.

Complaining about people lacking compassion isn’t going to guilt trip many for much longer. Peoples compassion for others tends to disappear very quickly when their living room is under water .

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