“Will the Deputy Prime Minister join me in paying tribute to the Rotary Club of Braids in my constituency, which has raised thousands of pounds for shelter boxes to send to Pakistan and other areas that are devastated by events? Will he give a commitment that his Government will consider altering the gift aid scheme to ensure that bucket collections can be included, so that the club’s valuable work can go much further?•
The Deputy Prime Minister: We will, of course, look at anything that will continue to encourage people to be as generous as they have been in responding to this truly horrific catastrophe. I was in Pakistan, in Sindh province, just last week, where I saw for myself the scale of the situation. It is genuinely difficult to comprehend that an area the size of the whole United Kingdom has been submerged under water. Some 20 million people have been displaced and my fear is that the worst is still to come as water-borne diseases start taking hold. That is why I certainly welcome the hon. Gentleman’s active interest in this issue and why I will welcome work from him and Members on both sides of the House so that we can work together to continue, both as a Government and as a people, to show the support that all the many distressed communities in Pakistan deserve at this time.”

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