LETTER: Spend on aid or missiles?

I have no doubt that Edward Thomas (December 26) is not alone in criticising Parliament’s decision to make legally binding the automatic annual expenditure of at least 0.7% of our gross domestic product on overseas aid.

The aid budget has come in for frequent criticism from sections of the press,from UKIP and from some backbench Conservative MPs.

Peter Austin (January 2) rightly points out that if we, and other countries, reneged on our overseas aid commitment until full economic recovery has taken place the death toll in Africa,particularly among children, would be even more catastrophic than it is today.

We only need to be aware of the ebola crisis to realise the tragic consequences which are liable to occur in countries which are unable to afford adequately funded health care.

As a citizen of this country I am immensely proud of the efforts of some of our health care professionals who daily risk their own health and even their lives to help people in such a dire situation.

Far better than cutting the overseas aid budget we should cancel the plans to spend approximately £100 billion (many times what is spent on overseas aid) in renewing the Trident nuclear weapons system.

Both of our major political parties remain committed to a policy of having a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction which,if ever used, would cause such devastation that all human and animal life on this planet would be virtually wiped out.

Government expenditure, whether at home or abroad, which aims to save lives and promote health and well being is surely preferable to that which may eventually lead to the end of life on earth.

John Carmody

Royal Parade