Help Yourself to Aid

Whether you think aid for development in poor countries from rich countries is a good or bad thing, I think most would agree that aid should be easy to audit and open to all taxpayers whose taxes have contributed to the aid so that they can see how every penny of their money is spent.

You may be surprised to learn (and I was surprise to learn courtesy if Russia Today’s reporting) that two thirds of the UK’s aid from the private sector part of its foreign aid programme is “funnelled” through bank accounts in tax havens. This is the finding of Eurodad – the European Network on Debt and Development. http://www.eurodad.org/files/pdf/5457b8e273cfa.pdf

Now there are plenty of banks in the world which are not located in tax havens through which the development money may be “funnelled” and if I were running an agency in charge of doling out the development money I would be very suspicious if I were asked to send the money to an account in say Mauritius or the Cayman Islands, but apparently it does not raise any problems with CDC (formerly the Commonwealth Development Corporation) more than $2.7 billion dollars through these two jurisdictions.

To make matters worse there is no public note of the beneficial owners of the companies and entities that receive this so called aid. It makes you wonder who is really being benefited by the aid.

One Response

  1. I suspect overseas aid is little more than bribery for corrupt foreigners and to plump up our politicians’ egos. Apparently we give aid to India, why? It has its own space programme.

    On a slightly different tak it is clear that we now give overseas aid to France, Germany, FInland etc etc through the EU. It seems we have weathered the storm of 2008 better than poor old Germany and can afford to ‘max-up’ the country’s credit card.

    After all whats another £1,750,000,000 on top of of £8000,000,000 for December’s borrowing.

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