FURY erupted last night as it was revealed part of Britain’s £13billion overseas aid budget was used to farm coconuts in the Caribbean.
Theresa May was urged to rip up the multi-billion aid budget after taxpayers’ cash also went on juggling lessons in Africa, yoga therapy in India and conserving eels in the Philippines.
Brit cash has been earmarked to help to grow coconuts in the Caribbean while taxpayers face tax rises at homeShock figures also show £140million went to China — the world’s second biggest economy — and India last year.
Projects we funded included dementia care in the Chinese province of Qingdao and yoga lessons for Indians at risk of heart failure.
Government departments also lavished cash on supporting the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra and strengthening ties with Iran.
Of the £13.4billion aid total in 2016, £1.5billion went to Brussels to support European Commission aid programmes.
The EU used our cash to help fund juggling and trapeze lessons in Tanzania. And about £120,000 went on helping to improve coconut farming in the Caribbean.
The details come just weeks after Britain was told hurricane relief in the British Virgin Islands could not qualify as aid.
Furious MPs said hard-up Brits would find it impossible to understand — given the threat of even higher taxes in next week’s Budget as the Chancellor tries to balance the books.
Under legislation introduced by ex-PM David Cameron, we have to spend 0.7 per cent of our economic output on aid.
Tory veteran Bill Cash said: “The aid budget has to be reviewed.”
And fellow Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “Spending money to teach yoga in India is like spending money to teach Catholicism to the Holy Father.”
Some £93million went to India despite the country finding money to launch its own space programme.
Nearly £43million was spent on projects in China.
Britain gave £99 million in aid to Zimbabwe – including money to tackle the drought sparked by El Nino and a scheme to tackle acute malnutrition in the country.
The Department for International Development insisted the aid budget increased Britain’s global influence and was saving lives.
New International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt this week said she believed in the “power” aid has to “end disease, hunger and extreme poverty”.
John O’Donnell of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “The aid budget needs a serious overhaul so it’s based on helping those actually in need.”
DFiD insiders blamed the Foreign Office and other Government departments for much of the ‘waste’.
DFiD spends 75 per cent of the £13 billion budget with the Foreign Office responsible for much of the cash allocated to projects in China.
The Department for Business signed off £86,616 of cash for ‘yoga-based cardiac rehabilitation’ in India.
A spokesman for the department last night insisted the programme was run by the Medical Research Council and the government was “not directly funding” the yoga lessons.
EUR AT A LOSS
BRITAIN’S bumper economic growth last year meant our aid handouts to Brussels soared by £180million.
Eleven per cent of our entire overseas aid budget went to Eurocrats to spend globally via their European Development Fund.
Of £167,740 spent on juggling lessons for kids in Tanzania the UK share was £20,128.
Some £68,538 of our cash was also used for a dancing project in Tanzania.
https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thesun.co.uk%2Fnews%2F4931796%2Ffury-as-uks-13billion-foreign-aid-is-used-to-farm-coconuts-in-caribbean-and-juggling-lessons-in-africa%2F&text=Fury%20as%20part%20of%20UK's%20%C2%A313billion%20foreign%20aid%20is%20used%20to%20farm%20coconuts%20in%20Caribbean” target=”_blank” title=”Click to share on Twitter