Author Topic: Have Your Say: Overseas Aid  (Read 5899 times)

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DaveR

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Have Your Say: Overseas Aid
« on: May 20, 2011, 08:39:22 PM »
The UK is giving more foreign aid than any other European country despite having to make the biggest spending cuts since the Second World War:

"The UK’s aid bill stood at £8.4billion last year and is forecast to hit £12.6billion in 2014. In contrast, Germany, Europe’s largest economy, only gives £7.8billion.

Britain also contributes nearly twice as much as Japan, the world’s second largest economy, which gives £5.4billion.

Only the USA, with £18billion, provides more than the UK according to figures from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, but that gap will shrink dramatically over the next four years."


Is it right that the UK gives so much in Overseas Aid whilst we are having to make spending cuts at home? Or should we be proud that we are ahead of most countries in helping others? What do you think?

Merddin Emrys

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Re: Have Your Say: Overseas Aid
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2011, 08:44:11 PM »
I'm not really in favour, charity begins at home, however if it's targeted in the national interest then it may do us some good!

I've always thought that if these places needing aid stopped breeding like rabbits then they could be a lot better off
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DaveR

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Re: Have Your Say: Overseas Aid
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2011, 08:54:39 PM »
On of the examples always given is India. Over the next 3 years, we are giving them £825m in Aid, yet they can afford their own Nuclear Programme! Even China gets around £40m a year from us - ridiculous!

Fester

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Re: Have Your Say: Overseas Aid
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2011, 11:49:11 PM »
At the risk of being labelled a reactionary (or worse) .. its time we put a stop to it !

I'm sick of being taxed to death, due to successive governments being apologists for our Imperial past.

Perhaps if we were taxed less to pay for overseas aid, then we would give more to charity...willingly!

Overseas aid should be a pot of money, which remains unspent, until a natural disaster occurs which requires immediate assistance.
Fester...
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Merddin Emrys

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Re: Have Your Say: Overseas Aid
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2011, 07:43:05 AM »
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I'm sick of being taxed to death, due to successive governments being apologists for our Imperial past.

I wish we still had the Empire and loads of money coming in again D)
A pigeon is for life not just Christmas

DaveR

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Re: Have Your Say: Overseas Aid
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2011, 08:08:53 AM »
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I'm sick of being taxed to death, due to successive governments being apologists for our Imperial past.

I wish we still had the Empire and loads of money coming in again D)
The thing about the British Empire was that it was always a drain on the country's finances. A lot of individuals did very well out of it, of course.

World War II proved to be the final nail in the coffin of the Empire, by both showing the weakness of the British Military and the realisation that expecting the populations of the various colonies to fight for our freedom whilst at the same time denying them theirs was a tad hypocritical.  :-X

Hugo

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Re: Have Your Say: Overseas Aid
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2011, 04:06:51 PM »
David Cameron was on TV yesterday and he again repeated his statement that the UK can "afford" to give so much Overseas Aid.   I must be missing something here because he's also claiming that Labour left the Country in so much debt that his savage cuts are vital to the economy of the nation.
He can't be right on both accounts so one of the statements must be wrong.
Much of the money for  Overseas aid should be ploughed back into this country to create jobs and improve our economy.



Llechwedd

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Re: Have Your Say: Overseas Aid
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2011, 12:21:32 PM »
Cameron can't afford to look after British people some of whom were stupid enough to vote for him.  He should not be giving any money in overseas aid.  He could support and "cure" the NHS in one fell swoop with all those millions.  Africa has had millions in aid from many countries poured in for decades where has it all gone?  Look in Swiss bank accounts of Presidents etc. and find quite a lot.  If Austral;ia, Scandinavia and Holland gave more then we wouldn't have to it's called delusions of grandure.

Ian

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Re: Have Your Say: Overseas Aid
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2011, 12:58:25 PM »
Quote
I must be missing something here because he's also claiming that Labour left the Country in so much debt that his savage cuts are vital to the economy of the nation. He can't be right on both accounts so one of the statements must be wrong

Indeed. And we ought never to give actual money as overseas aid, anyway, such is the scale of corruption;  it should always be either in kind or through direct help.
“Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.”   ― Michel de Montaigne

Si hoc legere scis, nimis eruditionis habes.

DaveR

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Re: Have Your Say: Overseas Aid
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2012, 09:33:30 PM »
Amazing.....


Pranab Mukherjee and other Indian ministers tried to terminate Britain’s aid to their booming country last year - but relented after the British begged them to keep taking the money, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

The disclosure will fuel the rising controversy over Britain’s aid to India.

The country is the world’s top recipient of British bilateral aid, even though its economy has been growing at up to 10 per cent a year and is projected to become bigger than Britain’s within a decade.

Last week India rejected the British-built Typhoon jet as preferred candidate for a £6.3 billion warplane deal, despite the Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, saying that Britain’s aid to Delhi was partly “about seeking to sell Typhoon.”

Mr Mukherjee’s remarks, previously unreported outside India, were made during question time in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament. “We do not require the aid,” he said, according to the official transcript of the session.

“It is a peanut in our total development exercises [expenditure].” He said the Indian government wanted to “voluntarily” give it up.

According to a leaked memo, the foreign minister, Nirumpama Rao, proposed “not to avail [of] any further DFID [British] assistance with effect from 1st April 2011,” because of the “negative publicity of Indian poverty promoted by DFID”.

But officials at DFID, Britain’s Department for International Development, told the Indians that cancelling the programme would cause “grave political embarrassment” to Britain, according to sources in Delhi.

DFID has sent more than £1 billion of UK taxpayers’ money to India in the last five years and is planning to spend a further £600 million on Indian aid by 2015.

“They said that British ministers had spent political capital justifying the aid to their electorate,” one source told The Sunday Telegraph.

“They said it would be highly embarrassing if the Centre [the government of India] then pulled the plug.”

Amid steep reductions in most British government spending, the NHS and aid have been the only two budgets protected from cuts.

Britain currently pays India around £280 million a year, six times the amount given by the second-largest bilateral donor, the United States. Almost three-quarters of all foreign bilateral aid going to India comes from Britain. France, chosen as favourite to land the warplane deal, gives around £19 million a year.

Controversial British projects have included giving the city of Bhopal £118,000 to help fit its municipal buses and dustcarts with GPS satellite tracking systems. Bhopal’s buses got satellite tracking before most of Britain’s did. (and we still don't have it in North Wales!! DR)

In India, meanwhile, government audit reports found £70 million had disappeared from one DFID-funded project alone.


Around £44,000 of British aid was allegedly siphoned off by one project official to finance a movie directed by her son.

Most aid donors to India have wound down their programmes as it has become officially a “middle-income country,” according to the World Bank.

However, Britain has reallocated its aid spending to focus on India at the expense of some far poorer countries, including the African state of Burundi, which is having its British bilateral aid stopped altogether from next year.

The decision comes even though India has a £6 billion space programme, nuclear weapons and has started a substantial foreign aid programme of its own. It now gives out only slightly less in bilateral aid to other countries than it receives from Western donors.

Supporters of British aid say that India still contains about a third of the world’s poor, with 450 million people living on less than 80p a day. DFID says its programmes — which are now focused on the country’s three poorest states - save at least 17,000 lives a year and have lifted 2.3 million people out of poverty since 2005.

The junior development minister, Alan Duncan, said last week that cutting off British aid to India “would mean that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people, will die who otherwise could live.”

However, Mr Mukherjee told the parliament last August that foreign aid from all sources amounted to only 0.4 per cent of India’s gross domestic product. From its own resources, the Indian government has more than doubled spending on health and education since 2003.

Last year, it announced a 17 per cent rise in spending on anti-poverty programmes. Though massive inequalities remain, India has achieved substantial reductions in poverty, from 60 per cent to 42 per cent of the population in the last thirty years.

Emma Boon, campaign director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It is incredible that ministers have defended the aid we send to India, insisting it is vital, when now we learn that even the Indian government doesn’t want it.”

As long ago as 2005, MPs on the international development select committee found that India “seems to have become increasingly tired of being cast in the role of aid recipient.” In their most recent report on the programme, last year, they said that British aid to the country should “change fundamentally,” with different sources of funding. The report praised a number of DFID projects, but questioned others.

As well as the Indian government, many other Indians are sceptical about British aid. Malini Mehra, director of an Indian anti-poverty pressure group, the Centre for Social Markets, said aid was “entirely irrelevant” to the country’s real problems, which she said were the selfishness of India’s rich and the unresponsiveness of its institutions.

“DFID are not able to translate the investments they make on the ground into actual changes in the kind of structures that hold back progress,” Ms Mehra said.

“Unless we arouse that level of indignation and intolerance of the situation, aid will make no difference whatsoever.”

Mr Mitchell last night defended British aid, saying: “Our completely revamped programme is in India’s and Britain’s national interest and is a small part of a much wider relationship between our two countries.

“We are changing our approach in India. We will target aid at three of India’s poorest states, rather than central Government.

“We will invest more in the private sector, with our programme having some of the characteristics of a sovereign wealth fund. We will not be in India forever, but now is not the time to quit.”

DFID declined to comment on why it had asked the Indian government to continue with a programme it wanted to end.

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Fester

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Re: Have Your Say: Overseas Aid
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2012, 11:18:31 PM »
As a piece of appalling political manoeuvering it is incredible.
One of the worst examples I have yet seen.

Nothing surprises me when it comes to the underhand dealings of politicians.
The Minister in charge of overseas aid was on Question Time on BBC1 last week, defending aid to India to the hilt.

In a nutshell, the Govt would rather GIVE AWAY £600m of OUR money next year, rather than confront one small item of embarrassment.  This country is bankruot, but we are obviously not ''all in it together''
It tells you all you need to know about politicians in general.
Fester...
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Ian

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Re: Have Your Say: Overseas Aid
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2012, 08:42:03 AM »
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The decision comes even though India has a £6 billion space programme, nuclear weapons and has started a substantial foreign aid programme of its own

Maybe we could apply?   :)
“Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.”   ― Michel de Montaigne

Si hoc legere scis, nimis eruditionis habes.

DaveR

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Re: Have Your Say: Overseas Aid
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2012, 09:02:50 AM »
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The decision comes even though India has a £6 billion space programme, nuclear weapons and has started a substantial foreign aid programme of its own

Maybe we could apply?   :)
Indeed! Perhaps we could apply to the Indian Govt for a grant to rebuild the Pier Pavilion?

Fester

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Re: Have Your Say: Overseas Aid
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2012, 11:36:20 PM »
I noted today that despite every Government dept having its budget slashed in recent years, the Overseas Aid spend went from £7 Billion in 2010 to £12 Billions in 2011.

This now represents one penny in every pound of government revenue.

Do any Forum members have any views on this?
Fester...
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Merddin Emrys

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Re: Have Your Say: Overseas Aid
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2012, 07:40:20 AM »
Yes, a total waste of our money in these hard times, some help in emergencies is fine, but we can't afford it at the moment, although hopefully some of it may create business for the UK?
A pigeon is for life not just Christmas