Gransnet forums


Critcisms about how foreign aid is shared out

(26 Posts)
thatbags Fri 09-Dec-16 08:01:13

There is criticism in the news about how the government CDC Group, which distributes tax-payer funded foreign aid, is investing taxpayers' money. The criticism is that too many investments are for 'luxury' rather than for basics such as clean water supply and schools.

Or, as a Times leader subheading puts it: "Public funds and private equity have been combined in an effort to put British overseas aid on a commercial basis. The result will not inspire taxpayers’ trust".

What do other gransnetters think?

Marmark1 Fri 09-Dec-16 08:45:45

I never give to foreign aid.Its not money those poor people need,its education,far too much of the money goes on admin,and far too much is squandered.Nothings changed for them,it's an absolute disgrace.

jollyg Fri 09-Dec-16 09:30:45

I have no trust in whatever quango the govt ,or the previous one, uses to dispense largesse via a so called private fund.

So much money goes into the back pockets of those in charge.

China. India.Pakistan. Nigeria all corrupt.

There is a saying in India.

The British showed us beurocracy, India perfected it..

Nelliemoser Fri 09-Dec-16 12:08:50

Marmark1 Education would help but they need money to fund it.
Most of the really urgent need now is food and development aid. But you still cannot grow your own food if there are severe droughts.
Africa has been plundered for years by our Western Imperial nations, moving the original African residents out of the best and most fertile lands and leaving the remaining populations on the lands affected by the harsh climates of much of that continent. Add to that the West enslaving the labour of the Africans and treating them brutally for generations. "We" have taken their best land and their best natural rescources precious minerals etc.

They do need our reparations for what we have done. This is not the only place in severe need.

Marmark1 Fri 09-Dec-16 18:51:23

What was done centuries ago cannot be undone,that was then this is now.The wealthy elite are still creaming the best off their lands,with the blessing of their totally corrupt government.That COULD change.Disgraceful,all these so called charities including the celeb luvies,all lining their pockets.The publicity does them wonders.No I will not contribute to their abuse.

Nelliemoser Sat 10-Dec-16 08:54:58

Marmark1. Well your comments do not surprise me. sad

Mumsy Sat 10-Dec-16 09:18:03

I always thought 'charity begins at home' and theres so much poverty in the uk we never hear about! I never give to foreign aid as very little goes to where its actually needed, I knew someone who used to work for oxfam and she said as little as 2p in every pound you donate actually goes to where its needed!!
As Marmark says the majority all goes to admin!!

Anya Sat 10-Dec-16 10:14:32

Foreign Aid is what's given by our government to other governments for relief programmes and yes, there is evidence it doesn't always get given or reach the needy.

I give to charities, which is a different matter, as at least 80% gets to those who need help. That 'fact' about Oxfam is utter rubbish and wrong. Their books are open to public scrutiny and it's trotted out by those who have a 'certain attitude' to giving to 'foreigners'.

I don't believe in 'charity begins at home' not in this day and age of global travel. Without the work of the charities, especially Medicine San Frontière and Save the Children, the recent Ebola outbreak might have spread much further, with who knows what consequences?

The WHO certainly was utterly useless at a time it ought to have taken the lead.

Personally I think we do hear about poverty in the UK but there is no comparison to the utter poverty of the third world.

Anya Sat 10-Dec-16 10:25:03

Online directory Charity Choice has launched a free service that allows you to generate reports for 10,000 UK charities to see how much of every pound you donate is spent on charitable activities. It also breaks down other areas of spending such as day-to-day running costs and fundraising activities.
Charity Choice said the top 100 charities spent an average of 78p in every pound on their charitable activities, while 21p was spent raising more income.

The remaining 1p was spent running the charity, including staffing and office costs

The reports also look at each charity’s income and expenditure for the past five years as well as their spend on core activities over the period, and how successful their fundraising activities have been.

The directory said on average, every £1 the top 100 charities spent on fundraising raised a further £5.83 worth of funding

“People are often sceptical about how charities spend their money and how much of the total donations are actually used for charitable work,” said Polly Avgherinos, the head of Charity Choice. “But it’s a myth that most of the money is used internally or that much of it is wasted.”
The reports are compiled using the charities’ own annual accounts, verified by independent external auditors.

thatbags Sat 10-Dec-16 10:59:19

The OP is about the money from our taxes that the government Department for International Development gives to other countries, often through organisations such as the CDC Group, the government's private equity division. The criticism mentioned in the OP is about how such organisations use the money. It is not about national charities like Oxfam.

There is another article in today's Times claiming that bad reviews of aid projects were suppressed so that the government would not stop the funding. Once again, this is about our money from taxes that is distributed via the Department for International Development (Dfid) and not about charities to which we give money on a personal level separately from what happens to our taxes.

The money in question is the 0.7% of GDP that goes towards international development every year. The percentage looks small but it is a very large amount of money.

So, just to be absolutely clear, the OP and this post are talking about government contributions to aid via general taxation, not about people's personal donations via charities.

Mumsy Sat 10-Dec-16 11:00:49

The fact about Oxfam is not wrong Anya neither is it rubbish, it came from someone who worked in admin for oxfam, I wouldnt say I have a 'certain attitude' towards foreigners its just that I refuse to line the pockets of the so called directors of charities.

thatbags Sat 10-Dec-16 11:02:06

All charities have to have public audited accounts. It seems Dfid can suppress some information about its accounts—another difference between the two.

Charity is separate from Foreign Aid that is organised by the government.

Mumsy Sat 10-Dec-16 11:04:11

thatbags, thanks for the claryfication, I was unaware that the subject was just regarding government funding, I was picking up on some of the other comments.

thatbags Sat 10-Dec-16 11:05:41

So no taxpayer can say they don't give to foreign aid. All taxpayers in the UK do.

Giving to charity is different.

So, to repeat the question in the OP, what do gransnetters think about the criticisms the Times is publishing about Foreign Aid? Do you think the criticisms are worrying, for example?

thatbags Sat 10-Dec-16 11:06:15

Cheers, mumsy. No problem. I probably would have made the same mistake.

sunseeker Sat 10-Dec-16 11:15:26

I have no problem with Foreign Aid - however it does appear there is little control over the distribution of the aid. I would like to see UK representatives on the ground controlling where the money goes with strict guidelines and accountability. No more lining the pockets of local politicians and criminals.

Mumsy Sat 10-Dec-16 11:21:46

I think us that pay tax that goes to foreign aid should have a say in how our money is spent for a start. Luxurys should not be on the list its more important that the basics should be catered for water, food, clothing and shelter. If all luxurys were stopped then more third world countries would benefit from the basics.

Im pleased to see that the cost of consultancy is now being investigated, and not before time either!

Anya Sat 10-Dec-16 12:00:02

Yes Bags I pointed that out to Mumsy in my opening sentence so she can't say she doesn't understand the difference now that two of us have pointed it out.

I felt I had to go into the question of charities to correct the misinformation she was being fed by somebody in 'admin' and point her towards actual facts and figures verified by an independent public auditor.

But people will believe what they want to believe.

Welshwife Sat 10-Dec-16 12:03:49

Did anyone else watch Question Time last week and see the lady in the audience mentioning foreign aid?
If I understood her correctly she agreed that UK should be helping migrants fleeing the wars etc but the idea she floated was that money to help them live/settle should come out of the foreign aid budget rather than normal UK funds. She said that it was a question of dipping into another pot and these people were foreign and needing aid and maybe that could be part of a solution while needed. It was clear that one of the panel members who aimed to answer her had not grasped her point (a man) by the answer he gave. It was a bit of lateral thinking on her part and should possibly be considered.
I prefer to give to UK charities and local if possible - or to a specific need when there has been a calamity somewhere in the world rather than these huge organisations.

POGS Sat 10-Dec-16 12:39:45

I don't think anybody would object to Foreign Aid if it was not squandered , given to dictatorships, given to wealthy countries and there were never reports of where the tax payers money is literally wasted.

I think British Foreign Aid should be used wisely (obviously but it isn't), I think the government of any colour should publish who, where, when and what projects have received funding as and when financial aid is given. It should be clear cut information showing us what we support, who we support and it would perhaps 'focus' the minds of those giving out the financial aid on our behalf to ensure they cannot be accused of waste or at times pure stupidity.

Why? Because there is a belief, maybe not unfounded, that British Tax Payers money is squandered when there are issues at home that could benefit from the money staying in the UK. If however there was clear knowledge of the 'good' British Aid was doing I believe the public would give it more support.

Anya Sat 10-Dec-16 13:18:44

Very true.

bellsisabelle Sat 10-Dec-16 16:18:59

Yes. I'm quite surprised that some posters don't realise we all give to foreign aid. grin

bellsisabelle Sat 10-Dec-16 16:25:46

I should say, long may it continue IMO. But with perhaps a little more micro-management.

mumofmadboys Sat 10-Dec-16 18:04:57

I agree bellsisabelle. I think we should do all we can to help those less fortunate than ourselves here and abroad. I would gladly pay more tax if world hunger could be stopped.

Marmark1 Sun 11-Dec-16 08:59:37

Yes Nelliemoser,sadly I'm becoming quite used to the nastiness on here,it was a shock at first I must admit because I don't encounter it in real life.But no matter,I'm here and I will have my say.
Those poor people are being abused in the worst way,have been for generations and will continue to be.Shameful.