By Jonathan Isaby
During questioning of David Cameron after his statement in the Commons yesterday on the G20 summit, Damina Hinds, te new MP for Hampshire East, urged the Prime MInister to make the case in favour of aid spending being in Britain's self-interest.
"On aid, does my right hon. Friend agree that, as well as the altruistic aim, there is also self-interest, both in reducing the number of lawless places in the world and increasing gross world product, which benefits everybody? Does he agree that in these difficult times the case must be made repeatedly to the public that such investments are perfectly rational, when well-targeted and, crucially, when the G20 is acting in concert?"
David Cameron agreed with him:
"My hon. Friend is right. We have to make this argument, because there is no doubt that a lot of people in our country look at a growing aid budget and think that that is money not well spent; they think that that money should be spent elsewhere. We have to make the argument that this is not just a moral argument about relieving poverty in the poorest parts of the world; it is also about avoiding conflict and about investing money upstream so that we do not end up with the Afghanistans and other broken countries. When we look at places such as Yemen and Somalia, it is quite clear that we need to have active aid programmes to try to help stitch those countries back together before we reach more serious problems."