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Godfrey Bloom: Britain cannot afford foreign aid
Date 12/08/2013 13:02  Author webmaster  Hits 2668  Language Global
Charity is only charity if it is freely given and not prised away from the public by the state, writes UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom (Information Daily).

What a complex paradox foreign aid is. How difficult to get foreign aid discussed sensibly without emotional rhetoric. The media and press are supposed to be the guardians of the electorate. The law and the press should primarily be there to protect the citizen, usually from its main predator, the state. Most citizens are far more likely to be robbed by the government than by any burglar or mugger. Indeed robbed in an extraordinarily regular and overt manner.

Overseas aid is not just the great cliché of poor people in rich countries giving to rich people in poor countries - the Daily Mail’s in-depth exposure of at least seven African countries tells its own story.

Before I go into some numbers we need to re-examine the role of government. The UK has the most generous people on the planet. We give more per capita than almost any other industrialised nation. This, in spite of being one of the most highly taxed. Bear in mind money taken from us by the state is money that cannot be used philanthropically by its people.

I have many favourite charities, mainly smaller animal or military charities. But that is my judgment call. I certainly never give to charities where the chief executive gets paid more than me (£65,000 pa), but again that is my call. The moral dilemma emerges when we consider whether the Prime Minister, who is a wealthy man in his own right, should take tax from people on low wages to give arbitrarily to the charity of his choice. Foreign aid is part of this and constitutes nearly £1 Billion in the last 12 months - equivalent to nearly 80 per cent of GDP growth. This is clearly insane and immoral, if not treasonable.

Government money should be made available only for emergency relief; Tsunamis, earthquakes, natural disasters and such. Then fully, wholeheartedly, willingly and cheerfully. It might be useful for the reader to Google ‘fake charities’- almost another £10 Billion a year on mainly political lobby groups. So less and less money reaches its target. £400,000 million per month is filtered through the EU, where there is almost no audit trail. Much is wasted, certainly as far as the British public is concerned. Fighter planes and wind turbines before we even get to the corruption issue which has been exposed so many times.

My argument is to leave the generous hearted British people more of their own money and let them continue in the traditional spirit of generous hearted philanthropy. They will. Moreover they will exercise more due diligence then governments ever do. One is always more careful spending one’s own money than the laissez faire attitude of the bureaucratic state apparatchik whose penchant for cronyism was so recently exposed in Rwanda.

Why are we giving £291 million to India, a country that has a £790 million space program (which we don't have), nuclear weapons, their own aircraft carrier (while our navy suffers cuts and the carrier they have, we sold to them) and a country which has a bigger economy than ours.

We are giving £295 million to their primary education, which is about the reported costs of cutting our school building program so far.

According to a report released in May 2011 by the Indian government, no less than £70 million of DfID’s £388 million program had been lost or stolen. Much of the cash had been allocated to schools that did not even exist. Some of it went to buy private cars for officials. In addition, there was little evidence that money was helping to improve schools, since attendance by pupils and teachers was dismally low.

Why are we wasting £34 million on gender equality programs and £850,000 on "climate change" policies in India?  These are of no help to the immediate needs of the poor in India.

The EU gives a further €97 million to India on top of the British contribution, so the UK taxpayer is effectively paying twice.

Anyway, what thanks did we get? Last year, India's finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said India should 'voluntarily' give up the £280million a year it receives from Britain. He told the Indian parliament: 'We do not require the aid. It is a peanut in our total development spending.' Peanuts? That is what you call thanks eh? I am glad this aid is about to end in 2015. About time too!

This in a back drop of the Prime Minister promising to ring fence UK aid budget at the last election, which in itself is a disgrace with the amount of cuts we are having to suffer, but of course old Cast Iron Cameron didn't tell the whole truth.

According to the UK aid office; "By 2013, the equivalent of 0.7% of the UK’s gross national income will be dedicated to development assistance, from 0.36% in 2007/08".

UK aid is utter shambles with billions wasted in foreign countries while we suffer deep cuts at home.

The UK government has showered a fortune on corrupt governments and oppressive regimes.
In Ethiopia, for instance, British support of £300 million has been used by the government to keep a hard grip on power. Starving people are told they can have food only if they support the ruling party. At the same time, British-funded training programs for Ethiopian civil servants have been turned into indoctrination sessions by the same party.

As the UK Treasury was announcing benefit reductions, pension raids and tax hikes for the British people, the Government was pledging £2 billion in so-called ‘climate aid’ for developing countries before 2015. 

This includes almost £100 million to help subsidise renewable energy in Africa, £15 million to help farmers practice ‘low-carbon agriculture’ in Colombia and more help to develop wind farms in Uganda.

While enforcing massive cutbacks on the vulnerable at home, the government is ramming through a huge increase in foreign aid.

The DfID budget is due to rise from £8 billion to £12.6 billion by 2015 — the equivalent of a £500 a year contribution from every household. Are we crazy to pour this money away while those at home are in need?

And as for corruption? Britain was last year forced to suspend all financial aid to Uganda because of corruption by which millions in donor funds were allegedly embezzled in the office of Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi.

Britain's international development department, or DFID, said that Britain had planned to give £27m to the East African country last year.

The UKIP solution is Trade, not Aid. We are all for people showing charity, but it is not freely given charity if it is made compulsory by politicians. Above, when people in the UK are in need, taxpayers’ money should not be funneled to countries where waste and fraud is rife.