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The politics of overseas aid

by Peter Rose 11 months ago in opinion

Should the UN provide all the aid?

The politics of overseas aid

The UN has a vast budget, why is this not overseas aid?

Politicians in most developed democracies, seem to have an aversion to questioning what their tax payers are forced to donate to other nations, as aid.

The British press that are on the right of centre point out that Britain gives financial aid to nations such as China,who clearly do not need it and to India who have money to spend on space research etc.; while the nationalised health services is desperate for more money to spend helping British tax payers.

The stance, about overseas aid, of those left of centre is strangely at odds with their normal criticism of Government spending. They deplore money spend on defence in Britain yet demand ever more money is given to nations with huge military spending overseas. Even African nations, some of whom spend a bigger % of their gross national product, on military budgets; than Britain does on her own; are “targets” to be given British tax money.

Britain's overseas aid budget is a big issue. It is claimed £15,200,000,000 of British tax payers money went on it. It is also claimed that 12.5% of all foreign aid ( from 29 Major countries) came from Britain

It is enshrined in British law that we have to give 0.7% of Gross National Income to overseas aid. Gross National Income (GNI) is the UK’s annual output of goods and services, plus any income we get from abroad.

It is very hard to get a simple straightforward answer to the question of how was this 0.7% of Gross National Income arrived at? Even harder to find why it was not 0.7% of Nett national income after expenditure of health education defence etc. So it has to be supposition that the % of GNI to be used for overseas aid was and is, a bureaucratic construct; so it is a possibility that it was arrived at by a group of bureaucrats who were being very well paid to sit in a working group set up by a sub committee which was formed by a working group of a standing committee which was made up of full time bureaucrats on very large expense accounts and even larger salary packages. Was this a UN initiative to suggest to those 29 major countries that they all give 0.7% of their individual GNI to doing the work the UN should already be doing out of the $Billions and $billions they get every year?

Regarding those who claim we should “tax the rich” to give more to overseas aid--- I do not wish to be insulting but in all honesty this type of claim reads as if made by a naive 14 year old who has never been taught honestly history and who has skipped all real life economic lessons and instead been brainwashed by a sociology teacher who themselves spent more time on protest marches than on the study of actual reality.

If there has to be a fixed overseas aid budget then let Parliament have prior approval of all spending. Before any money given to overseas projects a detailed budget has to be passed by parliament.

British tax payers are always generous to charities appealing for emergency funds so why not use the £billions for such natural disaster relief? Why not hold it until needed by MSF or similar worthy bodies. Alternatively; I am sure the Red cross, save the children, water aid, MSF would all welcome £1 billion a year from British tax payers and then not have to spend many tens of thousands on advertising for £2 a month from the public. May be with fixed £Billions of tax money they could save money by sacking the well paid fund raising departments they have.


Peter Rose

Collections of "my" vocal essays with additions, are available as printed books ASIN 197680615 and 1980878536 also some fictional works and some e books available at Amazon;-


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