Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Borrowing to give

On BBC Breakfast this morning, International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell claimed it was 'morally right' for the government to engage in international aid.

It comes as the government is finally considering ending aid for Russia and China. Aid for India is set to be frozen at current levels.

Laughably, the BBC reports that
Labour says too much of the UK's aid budget is being mis-spent.
I suppose 13 years wasn't long enough to address that problem.

I stand by my previous comments on international aid:
Borrowing to give is irresponsible. It is bad enough that taxpayers' wealth is confiscated for the government's chosen humanitarian projects, but it is indefensible that they are stealing from future generations.
If the government got out of the aid game, would charitable work in the Third World cease? No. Private citizens in Britain and around the world would continue to support worthwhile projects, according to their own priorities. And if the charities involved were true charities, entirely reliant on voluntary donations, there would be proper competition between them to deliver aid as efficiently as possible.

What's really needed, though, is trade, not aid. Abolishing the CAP, and trading freely with food producers in the developing world, would do far more to help them than handouts, both immediately and in the long term. If we legalised drugs, and cut out the criminal middle-men, poor farmers of high-demand crops would benefit still further.

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