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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Broke Britain Leads the World (in Giving Away Money)

Britain Leads the World (in Giving Away Money)

The ConDems gave away a record £8.5 billion in foreign aid in 2010, making Britain the most proportionally generous country in the world, and the total is set to rise year on year.
Britain gave the highest percentage of any country’s GDP to foreign lands, sticking rigorously to a misguided six-year-old G8 pledge to throw 0.7 per cent of taxpayers’ money away by 2013, a promise other countries seem to have long since forgotten.
The British foreign aid bill is set to rise year after year, reaching an estimated £12 billion by 2014.
In fact, Britain is donating double the G8 average foreign aid contribution, spending 0.56 per cent of GDP compared to the 0.28 per cent norm.
Compared with the other G8 countries, Britain spends £600 million more than France, £700 million more than Germany, £1.7 billion more than Japan and £4.4 billion more than Canada, Italy and Russia combined. Only the United States gives away more, £18.5 billion; however, that accounts for just 0.21 per cent of its GDP.
Part of Britain’s contribution will involve a gift of £110 million to North African countries such as Egypt and Tunisia over the next four years in support of the Arab Spring riots.
Up to £40 million of that will come from the Foreign Office for “political reform”, and £70 million from the Department of International Development to boost the countries’ struggling economies.
When announcing the aid to North Africa, Cameron repeated the same platitudinous excuses that he gave when he handed over £650 million of taxpayers’ money to Pakistan in April.
Then, he said the money to Pakistan would help avoid “the problems of migration [and] of extremism” and that “it’s in our interest that Pakistan succeeds”.
Clearly employing the same speechwriter, Mr Cameron yesterday announced, “If we can secure greater democracy and freedom in countries like Egypt and Tunisia, that is good for us back at home.
“That will mean less extremism, it will mean more peace and prosperity, and it will mean there won’t be the pressures of immigration that we might otherwise face to our own country.”
In 2005, the richest eight nations pledged to hike aid spending to 0.7 per cent of their gross national products by 2013.
Since 2004, Britain has raised spending on overseas aid by a whopping 74 per cent, three times the level of increase in Japan and Italy. Other countries have failed to find £12 billion of the cash they pledged in 2005.
The chief beneficiary of British aid is India, a country that has its own space, nuclear and foreign aid programmes. It gets £295 million a year.
Other top yearly recipients include Ethiopia (£214m and set to rise), Bangladesh (£149m and set to rise), Sudan (£146m), Tanzania (£144m), Afghanistan (£133m), Nigeria (114m and set to rise), the Democratic Republic of Congo (£109m and set to rise), Ghana (£90m) and, of course, Pakistan, which is set to receive a staggering £446 million a year from British taxpayers.
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