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Foreign Aid

Discussion in 'Serious' started by Dwarfer, 10 Dec 2011.

  1. Dwarfer

    Dwarfer New Member

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    I still cannot understand the jaw-dropping lunacy of giving money in aid to other countries whilst we are in the grip of the worst financial crisis in living memory. It is madness when there are such massive problems at home.
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    The current level of spending on aid is an enormous luxury and completely unsustainable. Overseas aid is a pointless luxury that has become a byword for corruption and waste.
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    The last Labour government and current Conservatives have given £billions to India and Pakistan who both can afford to be nuclear powers, and Pakistan can afford to spend £20 billion buying jet fighters from Lockheed!! While India has its own aid programme. So we've being giving money to India, who then give it to someone else!!!
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    He gives £80 million to Uganda, whose President then spends £50 million on a private jet
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    The present financial situation actually means that HE IS BORROWING MONEY TO GIVE AWAY TO OTHER COUNTRIES. If it wasn’t so disastrously serious, it would be a joke
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    Complete and utter lunacy /rant over
     
  2. tristanperry

    tristanperry Active Member

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    The amount recently got cut by over £500m. Plus it (still) only totals 0.7% of our GDP which isn't a crazily high amount. In-fact it's a fairly small amount.

    True, but we're still much more wealthy than the countries we're giving to. We can afford to give this, whilst some/most of the recipients can't [afford to spend it from their domestic budgets].

    And we're actually borrowing more money to... pay off the interest on our debt (a bigger expense than the day-to-day running costs of our schools). Aid is still a tiny fraction of Government spending.

    I agree with your points about India and (to a lesser extent) Pakistan, although the aid will still do good in those countries.

    Plus in some other countries it'll (potentially) do a lot of good. E.g. some of the money is going towards building schools and/or hiring teachers in certain 'problem' countries. If the choice is:

    a) Give aid to build schools and hire/train teachers, giving children a better ('proper') education

    or

    b) Not have those schools and teachers and potentially (in some countries) see some of those children become terrorists or involved in crime, etc.

    I know which option I'd prefer. :)

    (b) is perhaps a bit of an exaggeration, hence why I say some countries and some children).

    Some of the aid money will be wasted, I agree. But I don't see that as an excuse not to try.
     
  3. 3lusive

    3lusive New Member

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    Until people start complaining about the 120 BILLION pounds stolen in unpaid taxes by corporations working in Britain, then I cant take people seriously who care about the punitive costs of foreign aid.
     
  4. tristanperry

    tristanperry Active Member

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    It's not £120bn (at least, not per year).

    And much of it is unrecoverable be it due to tax avoidance (100% legal), company bankruptcy, genuine Human error on HMRC or the company's end, etc.

    Didn't a recent HMRC study show it was something like £56bn per year, but 'only' £14bn of that was collectable (tax evasion)? (Edit: Okay it's actually £30bn-odd not £56bn, thanks for the link. I accept that there's difference of opinions though :))

    Granted that's still waaaay too high, but this won't change until the tax system is overhauled and massively simplified. A move towards a flat tax system and ripping out many pages of the bloated tax code would go a huge way to solving this problem, but it'll never happen as the public are still under the illusion that constant Government interventionism/activity and high taxes 'on the rich' are the way to go.
     
    Last edited: 10 Dec 2011
  5. 3lusive

    3lusive New Member

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    It is around that figure, at least according to the Public and Commercial Services union (not HMRC).

    http://www.politics.co.uk/opinion-f...-missing-tax-massively-underestimated-by-hmrc

    All the big banks (Barclays, RBS etc) and supermarkets (Tescos Asdas) and aviation companies (BAE etc) just rob Britain by, yeah, avoiding tax by putting their money in subsidiaries based in tax havens. That way they only have to declare a fraction of their real tax obligations.
     
  6. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    It's tricky. It's fair to wonder whether we really can afford to be so generous with foreign aid when we are struggling ourselves. On the other hand, the Western world achieves its standard of living basically by exploiting the developing world in the first place, so what goes around comes around. Moreover poor disgruntled people are angry people, and make for a good recruiting pool for terrorist organisations as well as the organised crime that bothers us (e.g. drug cartels, pirates). Again, what goes around...

    More important is where that aid is applied. If it is to improve peoplr's standard of living that is a good thing all around. Studies show that parents in the developing world have significantly fewer children if they have a greater chance of making it to adulthood, which helps the overpopulation problem. Studies also show that sons of educated Muslim women are much less likely to become terrorists.

    Basically it benefits us to play nice and share with our neighbours. It is not so much aid for others as investment in all our futures.
     
  7. thehippoz

    thehippoz New Member

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    this is pretty much what it's about.. in good times and bad

    you should read about the egyptians dwarfer.. and their ultimate downfall..

    we had the same cries here over foreign aid- when you look at the overall budget.. it's really not a lot of money
     
  8. Dwarfer

    Dwarfer New Member

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    I don't have a problem giving aid to poor countries where people are starving etc but I am beggared if I can see the need to give to the likes of India and Pakistan. If both can afford nuclear weapons etc then they can afford to look after their own populations.

    Also if we must give aid to poor countries then it should be in the form of materials/ food etc not cash for some despot to line his own pockets with.
     
  9. mucgoo

    mucgoo Well-Known Member

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    I believe I read a while back that part of the aim of the the oversea's aid budget is to foster diplomatic and economic relations with the recipients.
    Personally I think its right that we give a small amount (0.7%) of our budget to the poorest countries. A moral obligation to provide some help to people who have been born in the wrong part of the world.
    Whether either objective is carried out in a efficient manner is debatable though.
     
  10. LeMaltor

    LeMaltor >^_^

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    It's a drop in the ocean, don't worry about it.
     
  11. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    What you are really saying is that you have a problem with how aid is applied. You are right on both counts. Aid to India and Pakistan is just a political game; a hidden subsidy of BAE and other British companies. Basically: "We give you money as long as you spend it on buying our stuff (preferably stuff made by companies that we, UK government politicians, have a huge personal investment portfolio in)". It is also strategically advantageous to know the weapons capability of other countries because you sold it to them. And you can use it as profitable dumping ground for goods that do not pass muster at home anymore: out of date meds, obsolete tech etc.

    You are also right on your second point: just giving money to a developing country is the worst that you can do. Apart from opportunistic brokers and middlemen taking their cut until quite literally nothing is left for any actual aid, it also makes the country the focus of a permanent civil war between various political factions over who gets to be in government and therefore the recipient of all that aid money. In a dirt-poor country with no economy to speak of it's the only get-rich-quick scheme going, after all. Those vying for political power are not interested in the well being of the country but in getting rich.

    There is a myth that somewhere in the Philippines, there is a huge underground stockpile of gold abandoned by the Japanese occupiers after they lost WWII. A politician once said that this gold is is country's curse. Because people believe this gold is there, all they do is fight over and chase this rainbow. If people accepted that the Phillipines were poor, they would invest in education and economic development. They would accept that there is no get-rich-quick scheme, and focus on bettering things for themselves.

    Same with aid money. We'd do better to lift trade embargos so that developing countries can actually export their value-added goods to us, rather than just the raw resources we want to make stuff which we then sell back to them at a premium, while exposing them to the vulnerabilities of a monoculture economy. We'd do better to give them access to information and knowledge, rather than to zealously hoard patents. Aid money is just alms: a token penny in the cap of a beggar.
     
  12. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    There's bigger **** to worry about than aid money.

    Get over it.
     
  13. Pliqu3011

    Pliqu3011 all flowers in time bend towards the sun

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    The problem with charity these days is , in my opinion, not the amount, but the transaction to those who need it. As you've said Dwarfer, charity money going to someone's new private jet is absolutely outrageous.
    Getting your money to the people you want to give it to seems to be incredibly difficult. Most of it disappears into the pockets of some corrupt politician, and even non-governmental charity doesn't go where it's supposed to go. For example, if you buy some Oxfam chocolate, I've read, less than 3% of the profit actually goes to the farmer, while more than 50% goes to the Oxfam organisation itself iirc....

    Still, that doesn't mean we should stop sending money - that will only hurt even more people. I can't think of a solution, but there has to be some way money can be transferred directly and intact to those who really need it to survive - and not those who are in dire need of a shiny new jet.
     

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