Friday, January 1, 2010

About time

One of the mysteries of foreign aid is where it goes and how it's used. For instance we donate millions to India, yet they can spend £50 million on an unmanned moonshot. We even give foreign aid to China one of the worlds largest economies.

A shakeup of Britain's £9.1bn overseas aid budget would be launched by a Conservative government to cut funding to more prosperous developing nations, notably China, and boost it to the poorest, especially those in the Commonwealth.

In the biggest change at the Department for International Development since it was created by Labour in 1997, the Tories would bring in outsiders to review all 102 countries funded by Britain.

David Cameron has pledged to maintain spending on overseas aid as he delivers on his commitment to meet the UN target of spending 0.7% of Britain's gross national income (GNI) on aid by 2013.

But the Tories make clear that they would adopt a different approach to Labour by cutting the £50m annual aid grant to China and targeting resources on poorer countries in the Commonwealth.

In a Guardian interview, the shadow international development secretary, Andrew Mitchell, outlined a five-point plan to tackle the "colossal discrepancies of opportunity and wealth" in the world. He pledged to review spending in all 102 developing countries funded by Britain with a view to cutting the overall numbers. Mitchell, who pledges to publish details of all DfID funding on its website, said: "I suspect that we will reduce the number ... We would narrow the focus as part of making it sharper and less scattergun."
First bit I don't understand is why the U.N. say we have to spend 0.7% of our GNI on foreign aid must be something our idiot government signed up too as part of the U.N's quest for ever greater bribes for dictators in 3rd world hell holes.
Second part is that I'm a great believer in charity beginning at home, £9.1 billion would be a splendid boost to infrastructure building of road and rail links or even housing improvements, certainly it would be nice to see it spent on the UK rather than abroad, even tax cuts for industries taking on workers would be a start.
Taking back our sovereignty from the EU and getting back the £6.4 billion a year we pay them would be a big help too, after all it's just another form of foreign aid.
Imagine what the country could do with £15 billion a year being spent on it.

Now I imagine some of the aid does go to good works and I'm sure that in some countries it's vital, however we're in a recession, people are losing jobs, the government is printing money like there's no tomorrow just to pay for its own costs (hello Zimbabwe here we come) and there will be a final reckoning soon when the UK loses its AAA credit rating on the world markets and the chickens come home to roost. That money could and should be used for UK interests, not foreign aid and not bribes to various corrupt regimes in the world.
We can't afford it, not any more.

1 annotations:

JuliaM said...

Agreed. And sending money to INDIA, of all places, boggles the mind...