CUTS to foreign aid from the UK government have been welcomed by readers.

Despite South Lakes MP Tim Farron protesting Downing Street’s decision to to cut spending of national income on international development from 0.7 per cent to 0.5 per cent, one reader said: “The UK economy has taken an enormous hit because of Covid, so it’s not unreasonable to temporarily reduce foreign aid.

“Until Covid hit, we were the fifth biggest contributor of foreign aid in the world, based on the percentage of GDP.

“Why isn’t he calling for the countries like the USA, Canada and France, below us in the league tables, to put their hands in their pockets for a change?

“Why doesn’t he praise the UK for being one of the biggest contributors based on the GDP percentage?”

However, Mr Farron said: “Britain has a proud history of providing aid and support for the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world.

“The Government’s decision to cut aid for these people in the middle of a pandemic is despicably cruel and will tragically result in the deaths of thousands of desperate people who will no longer have access to food or clean drinking water.”

Another reader responded: “As a nation we have been giving money hand over fist to these countries for years and it never makes any difference. Time charity began at home for a change!”

Another reader said: “Whilst we have people living rough on the streets of this country I fully support the reduction in global aid. After all why are we funding projects in countries with space programmes such as India and China?

"This money is our money and it should be spent on only the poorest countries.”

One reader said: “Why are we sending £258 million in foreign aid to Nigeria? It’s the largest oil and gas producer in Africa.”

Yesterday Mr Farron announced he had signed the amendment to the Advanced Research and Innovation Agency Bill calling on the Government not to slash £4bn from the international aid budget.