Slash foreign aid and boost immigration from poor countries to aid development, says Adam Smith Institute

Chris Papadopoullos
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Money sent back to home countries by foreign workers dwarfs state aid budgets and is better targeted, the ASI said (Source: Getty)

Foreign aid should slashed and replaced with a more liberal immigration system, a Westminster think tank has said today.

In a new report the Adam Smith Institute (ASI) said allowing people to move to the UK from poor countries to work could boost their income 20 to 30 times. The report also argues that “doling out billions in foreign aid risks propping up corrupt kleptocratic governments while having little impact on development.”

Remittances – cash sent back to home countries from foreign workers – are around three times as much as governments send in foreign aid. This “private development aid” is better targeted and often goes to those in need, the ASI said.

Read more: Liberalising the UK's migration policy could lead to "brain gain"

"The best way to cut global poverty is to allow more of the world's poorest people to come and work in Britain. With appropriate controls, a guest worker programme similar to the US's Green Card system could give a huge boost to people from developing countries,” said ASI executive director Sam Bowman.

“There's a multiplier effect here too: migrant workers send back an enormous amount of money to their home countries – about three times as much money as is sent in official development aid – and this reduces poverty at home, and may even provide investment capital for economic growth.”

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