More weasel words on Overseas Aid budget farce

How much longer do British taxpayers have to suffer cuts whilst their hard earned cash continues to flow into countries that are more than able to pay to look after their own citizens, but just don’t want to? They must be laughing their heads off every time they cash our cheque.

And the sternest statement our MPs can make on this scandal? ‘Tory MPs want Britain to use the meeting to call for bigger contributions from other countries’. WRONG! The British people want the British Government to stop lording it around on the world stage and cut these contributions without further delay.

British aid supports schemes in Iran and China
By Colin Freeman Sunday Telegraph 7 Oct 2012

FRESH concerns over Britain’s spending on foreign aid were raised last night as it was disclosed that the country is helping support projects in Iran and China. The Department for International Development (DfID) is a key supporter of the World Bank, set up to help develop poorer countries.
The bank, established after the Second World War, is funded by developed countries to provide capital to lend on interest-free or easy terms to poorer countries, and to use as collateral to raise further funds on the international money markets.
It also provides grants from cash given by donor countries, of which Britain is fifth largest, behind America, Japan, Germany and France. However, the level of aid given to the World Bank raised new worries last night over how aid funds are spent, and there is also concern over some of the bank’s loan schemes.
Inquiries by The Telegraph found a number of projects that bore only limited relevance to Britain’s development goals. They include:

• £50 million in loans for a road safety campaign to improve Iran’s appalling road accident rate. The country’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, holds a PhD in traffic management.

• A £30 million loan towards the cost of a Confucius “cultural heritage protection” project in China.

• £122,000 for a “radio reality format” project to encourage women in central India to use water more efficiently.

Last year DfID contributed £953.4 million to the bank. In stark contrast, China gave only £98 million in 2010, while Russia gave just £70 million. Additionally, Britain is still giving aid to “middle income” countries through its contributions, despite the Government’s recent pledge to restrict handouts to only the neediest nations.
In a major review of aid 18 months ago, ministers promised a “tighter focus” on 27 of the poorest nations. However, among those in receipt of World Bank grants are Moldova, Cambodia and Kosovo, which were on a list of 16 countries for which DfID stopped direct funding.
The three receive grants totalling £56 million from the World Bank’s International Development Association, a fund to which Britain paid £2.64 billion – 12 per cent of the total – in the last round of contributions in 2010. On that basis, roughly £7.6 million of the grants to Moldova, Cambodia and Kosovo came from the British taxpayer.
The money is part of the 0.7 per cent of national income that Britain spends on overseas aid, which critics say must either be reduced or more carefully monitored. The lack of control that Britain has over how its foreign aid budget is spent by international bodies was highlighted by The Telegraph last week, when it was revealed that British aid cash channelled through the European Union is being spent on projects such as tourism parks in Iceland and energy-efficient holiday complexes in Morocco.
This week, the World Bank will hold its annual meeting in Tokyo, when talks will start on the next round of handouts, due to be finalised next year. Tory MPs want Britain to use the meeting to call for bigger contributions from emerging economies, especially if they want a greater say in the bank’s affairs.
“As a layman, I would have imagined that the voting rights should follow the money,” said Philip Davies, the MP for Shipley. “By anybody’s standards, we appear to be overpaying relative to other countries, and it is more than we can afford in this time of austerity.”
A DfID spokesman said the Government had not made any decisions about its future contribution to the World Bank’s aid programmes. But he added: “We are committed to a faster programme towards poverty reduction worldwide – this includes pushing other countries to increase their contributions.”

More of our money to be spent overseas

Is there no end to this government’s duel fixations of climate change and overseas aid? These two issues seem to of now converged into yet another wasteful financial commitment, this time with a scheme to help Africa reduces its carbon footprint, to the tune of £1billion.
The government continues to tell us that all the financial pain they are visiting upon us is necessary and we just have to ‘suck it up’ and get on with it – it’ll all be worth it in the end. Tens of thousands of public sector workers are loosing their jobs, including many of the service personnel who have been fighting and dying in wars our politicians are so keen to participate in (but not literally of course).
I wonder how many more services will be cut and jobs lost in order to fund what seems to be an ever growing list of vanity projects?

No money = no more waste!

Had a light bulb moment this morning after reading yet another newspaper item on how the government has come up with yet another way to throw our money at the wind energy industry.

Apparently they are thinking of paying Ireland to use some of their waterspace to build even more of these useless monstrosities. Huhne and Hendry have come up with this latest scatterbrain idea in pursuit of the ludicrous commitment we made to the EU of 32% of our electricity from renewables within 9 years. It doesn’t seem to matter how many people raise concerns, nor how often we read about the hopeless performance of wind turbines – when the wind doesn’t blow fossil fuels kick in and when the wind does blow, but we don’t need the energy, we pay the companies a fortune to turn them off – our democratically elected leaders continue to throw our money at these things.

My light bulb moment came when I realised that those countries currently struggling with sovereign debt, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, would almost certainly have stopped subsidising things such as wind turbines by now. Likewise, they would also have stopped throwing money at foreign countries, via an overseas aid programme. Britain gives billions of £s to India even though that country is building its own nuclear weapons program, has a space programme to put an India in space and gives money to African countries via its own overseas aid programme!

Are we as taxpayers completely insane in putting up with these wasteful practices, perpetrated by those who were elected to represent our interests, whilst at the same time cutting back on everything in sight?

My lightbulb moment by the way – join the Euro as quickly as possible and become one of the PIGS. I don’t think you’ll find Greece throwing money at the wind energy industry or giving India hundreds of millions of Greek Euros do you?

Where there’s blame there’s a claim!

It looks like, having accepted (on our behalf?) that all the troubles of the world are the fault of the British, or should that be just the English (devolution and all that) David Cameron is now determined to use taxpayer’s money to fix things.

Apparently, whilst Pakistan is busy spending £1billion on submarines we, the taxpayers, will be generously giving them £650m of our money, so that an extra 40,000 children can go to school.  Nothing wrong with kids getting an education, but can their government please do it with their own, obviously plentiful, cash.

It’s almost a perverse form of the no win, no fee system we have in this country, except that these ‘victims’ don’t have to prove anybody is guilty (call me Dave’s already done that) or even put in a claim, in order to get a nice big payout.

Closer to home, the taxpayer will be hit, along with all the other burdens being imposed by increased taxation, increased NI, government sponsored inflation, increasing food prices, etc, with a further cost in the form of a carbon tax on energy companies.  Apparently this slipped in under cover of the rest of the Budget, compliments of George Osborne.

This will add hundreds of pounds to the average energy bill, as the companies will seek to pass it on to consumers.  This tax, which will be unique to the UK, will not only hit ordinary people in the pocket, it will have a direct impact on the competitiveness of British businesses, just when many are struggling to survive.  It would seem that whilst the rest of the world suffers natural disasters, our government have decided to be proactive and create its own.