Peace campaigners have expressed grave concern over Prime Minister David Cameron's announcement that the government plan to divert some funds from the UK's 0.07% overseas aid budget to military projects.
Bruce Kent former Chair of CND and vice-president of Pax Christi, said: This is deplorable news. It all seems to be part of David Cameron's agenda to re-militarise the country. He is encouraging cadets in schools and bringing in National Army Day."
He said: "the amount of aid this country gives, already is pitiful. Now David Cameron even wants to take some of these funds. At the same time the government plans to spend £100 billion on renewing Trident. I would love to hear the aid agencies protesting about this. We don't hear a word from them of course, because they are so reliant on government funding, and some of their trustees are rather close to the government."
Pat Gaffney, General Secretary of Pax Christi, said: "This is a most underhand act to try to give protection to UK defence spending. With complaints being made of the Government plans to cut the defence budget in March it seems that David Cameron is trying to protect defence spending by earmarking parts of the aid budget for security and so-called peacekeeping.
"Once again we see a government short of imagination and morals. The real threats to world security are climate change, competition over resources, the growth of poverty within and between countries and yet we take money from the poor and from those projects that address some of the underlying causes of poverty."
See also: ICN 22 February 2013 Charities react with dismay as UK government plans to buy arms with aid budget www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=22003