Monday, 20 February 2017

UKIP Policy Forum

It is fashionable to criticise UKIP for being a single issue party. Following the referendum, people ask "what are you going to do now?" as if we might be stuck for ideas.

Perhaps they have not come across the website of the UKIP Parliamentary Research Unit. It has thoughts on aid policy, defence procurement, transportation, family courts and a host of other topics. It is worth pointing out that these are not, or not yet at any rate, official UKIP policies; these are ideas that will be worked on. I expect to see many of them in a UKIP manifesto before too long.

I was particularly interested in the recent paper on foreign aid. There is an interesting commentary on this paper here.  Having worked in Africa, I am aware that many aid programmes deliver little of value to the people they are meant to help. In the UK we have made things worse by firstly deciding  how much we are going to spend on aid and only then trying to find projects that might want the money. Clearly many of the projects chosen are not delivering good value but they get funded anyway because the department has to spend its budget somehow.

The foreign aid paper recommends concentrating on medical and disaster response projects and cutting the funding to most other projects. In order to encourage developing economies the report recommends reducing the tariff barriers that currently hamper their exports. This is, of course, something that we will only be able to do once we leave the EU. 

Whatever your interests, I suggest having a look. Pallet sizes and helicopter performance just two of the topics I found while browsing the site. The UKIP Policy Forum can be found here.

Ken McNair

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