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The figures on aid and the 0.7 per cent ‘commitment’ needs a closer look

15 June, 2017

• UNFORTUNATELY for Wayne Doyle (Aid at 0.7 per cent imperative, June 8), the figures on “aid” are not “testament” to Britain having kept its promises.

Some of the aid budget has been used to fund pensions for soldiers whose work was carried out under the aid budget, saving Ministry of Defence or Department for Work and Pensions funds. Shifting across accounts is a long-standing government device.

For similar reasons I’m disinclined to believe the council leader in Barnet when he claims the increase in the “social care precept” element of council tax will be devoted “exclusively” to the elderly and vulnerable.

For example, the description of “vulnerable” might be applied to the young, given what Tory central and local government policies have done to education and library services, not to mention sports field provision.

Though I’m 73 and a member of the oldest pensioners’ group in London, the GLPA, founded in 1974, I am not trying to generate a reverse generational conflict.

Years ago I queried the adequacy (for homework) of the provision of reference books in one library. The librarian assured me the half-shelf of books was sufficient.

I then pointed out that the students and children using a nearby library must be thick (or pampered) because they had an entire reference floor. Now that library is closed and a sizeable proportion of librarians have been made redundant.



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