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Making the Case for Overseas Aid. Debunking the Myths

Back in 2011, Jamie Drummond wrote a great piece of content about Overseas Aid in response to Ian Birrell’s article in the Daily Mall, supposedly busting the 10 “myths” that he claimed are used to justify the UK’s outstanding commitment to helping the world’s poorest people. Drummond profoundly disagreed and as a result, he built a very strong case. You can check the original article HERE. ‘Myth 1: We can afford to spend a few billion pounds to help the world’s poor’ To pretend that cutting spending on aid is the answer to Britain’s budget problems is woefully misleading. Total government spending in the last financial year was £697 billion. The government made a £850 billion commitment to our banking sector at the height of the financial crisis and we pay £44 billion annually in debt interest. The 0.56% of national income, or £8.7 billion, we currently spend on development assistance and the 0.7% we have promised would not put a significant dent in our deficit even if it were cut completely. ‘Myth 2: We must hit the UN target to give away 0.7 percent of our GNP in aid’ This was an internationally agreed commitment which was signed and reaffirmed in this very country in 2005 to global acclaim. It is Britain that leads larger developed nations on meeting this target – and the practical benefits are immense. It adds to our wealth. It plays to our strengths. It lends stature to our nation. It significantly increases our influence. It means Britain can be trusted. And it was empirically justified by analyses such as that done by the Commission for Africa....

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