'Greater transparency' is needed as the UK paid £48m of taxpayers' cash to China last year, aid watchdog says

13 July 2023, 10:33

ICIA Commissioner comments on the aid relationship between UK and China

By Phoebe Dampare Osei

An independent body responsible for scrutinising the UK's international development assistance reported that the UK had given £48m to China between 2021 and 2022.

The report noted that this figure is lower than the £82m given in 2019, but called for "greater transparency" over how that money is being spent and what will happen with future aid.

Sir Hugh Bayley, the Commissioner of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact that conducted the review, told Nick Ferrari at Breakfast on LBC, that "of course" most of UK aid goes to the poorest countries in the world.

READ MORE: Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he 'doesn't understand Ben Wallace's claim that Ukraine should be more 'grateful' to NATO

He noted, however, that "there's a question with China which is not one of the poorest countries in the world, and will soon be so rich that it will no longer be legally eligible to receive aid".

Sir Hugh continued: "We think the government should have a transition strategy so that they're not just reducing aid, which they're doing already, but they have a strategy for how they are going to maintain the diplomatic relationship that they want with China when it's no longer receiving aid."

He felt that China could reach an economic position where it's so rich that it will no longer be legally eligible to receive aid within "a year or two".

Taiwan's Foreign Minister: We must prepare for any attack from China

The Commissioner pointed out that the UK has diplomatic relations with other wealthy economies such as the US, Canada, Australia, France and Germany, but that these are not aid-based relations.

The aid watchdog was set up by David Cameron's government, with Sir Hugh explaining that "they said quite rightly, 'if we were going to spend more taxpayers' money on foreign aid, then the public needs to be told why we're doing that'".

READ MORE: Plan unveiled to bring Ukraine 'closer' to Nato alliance as world leaders hold talks in Lithuania

The Commissioner said in the report that "while UK aid to China has fallen rapidly in recent years, taxpayers are still not being told clearly how much aid will continue and what it will be spent on".

He added that if there is "no clear strategy" for what will happen when the country is deemed too rich to receive further economic help, this "could put some of the benefits from past UK development assistance at risk".

More Nick Ferrari

See more More Nick Ferrari

Nick Ferrari pressed Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson regarding trans women and bathrooms.

'So which lavatory would they actually use?': Nick Ferrari presses shadow minister on trans women and public toilets

Postal minister Kevin Hollinrake has said a future Tory government could intervene in the deal for Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky to take over the Royal Mail.

'Not a done deal': Minister says Royal Mail sale to foreign owner may not take place

Exclusive
Home Secretary James Cleverly (left) and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper take part in a live immigration debate on LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast at Global Studios in Leicester Square, London. Picture date: Tuesday June 25, 2024.

James Cleverly debates Yvette Cooper on immigration | Watch Again

Yvette Cooper slammed Just Stop Oil as 'pathetic'

Yvette Cooper slams 'pathetic' Just Stop Oil as she brands Stonehenge stunt a 'total disgrace'

Laura Saunders, the Conservative candidate for Bristol North West

Tory candidate being investigated over alleged election date bet is 'married to Conservative Director of Campaigns'

Gambling probes into two Tory candidates are a 'betrayal of trust' in Rishi Sunak, Michael Gove has said.

Gove says election bets are ‘betrayal of Prime Minister’s trust’ as second Tory candidate investigated by regulator

Keir Starmer came out on top after LBC’s two exclusive phone-ins

Keir Starmer comes out on top after LBC phone-ins – as Rishi Sunak seen as ‘overwhelmingly negative’

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer during LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast

'We would seek a better agreement' Keir Starmer tells LBC where he thinks "botched" Brexit deal can be improved

Exclusive
Sir Keir Starmer speaks to LBC

‘No magic wand’ to recruit more teachers as Starmer insists removing ‘tax breaks’ for private schools is ‘tough choice’

Tom Weatherall is still searching for his treasured medals which went missing in France

Renewed plea for missing medals lost in France as RAF veteran gifted with set of replicas

'Economically Brexit's working': Nigel Farage says but claims it has 'not been properly implimented'

'Economically Brexit's working': Nigel Farage says but claims it has 'not been properly implemented'

Nigel Farage says Germans should 'get a sense of humour' amid calls for football fans who chant 'Ten German Bombers' to be prosecuted

Nigel Farage says Germans need to 'get a sense of humour' if football fans sing Ten German Bombers chant

Nigel Farage in the LBC studio today and (right) on the Reform UK campaign bus in Barnsley, South Yorkshire this week

'This is how ordinary people speak': Farage defends Reform UK candidates after anti-Islam and far-right comments exposed

Exclusive
Tory Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride was put on the spot by an LBC listener from a "Blue Wall" constituency rained down a barrage of complaints about soaring mortgages, the NHS crisis, crumbling schools and roads, and dentist shortages.

'Why would anyone sane vote for the Tories?': Minister put on the spot with barrage of complaints from LBC listener

Mr Weatherall's lost medals

Nick Ferrari offers £500 reward for return of RAF veteran's medals lost yesterday in Ranville, France

Kemi Badenoch rules out serving alongside Nigel Farage after he hints at Tory takeover.

Nigel Farage 'wants to destroy the Conservative Party', Kemi Badenoch tells LBC