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To think that charity begins at home?

(65 Posts)
HappyOrchid Thu 11-Oct-12 23:54:40

With all the cuts to various benefits and changing the inflation measures to give lower increases to those on fixed incomes what right does the Government have to ring fence and in fact increase foreign aid?

If I have a couple of quid to spare I will donate it to charity. When things are tight I spend it on fripperies like food and utility bills.

Call me Dave went to USA last week and increased committment to foreign aid to approx £7 BILLION, when the Govt. is trying to cut benefits for citizens of its iwn country by £10bn.

Is it worng to say 'Sorry, but we have to sort out our own economy first'. I know many countries are in poverty, but isn't it the responsibility of their governements to sort it out?
If people feel strongly about charity donations couldn't they make their own.

Brycie Fri 12-Oct-12 00:39:42

"Aid is big business, I was in Kenya and there were more NGO's than there were victims, all with big Toyota 4X4 and Ipod chargers, all looking for victims"

Yyyyyyyy to this. Aid is the saviour of Landcruiser manufacture.

Toombs Fri 12-Oct-12 00:40:45

Want2bSupermum. Applause, this is what communities do when the dead hand of government is removed.

weegiemum Fri 12-Oct-12 00:42:47

I think charity begins where the need is greatest, no matter where home is.

I give my time locally. I give my money globally.

So, by the same logic, the rich people in the UK or Tory wankers who earn millions should all spend their charity money on the National Trust and Museums. You know, their stuff. Not poor children or food banks or women's shelters. After all, charity begins at home.

The rich can do what they like with their money.

But they should not be taking 10 billion from their own citizens with one hand and giving 7 billion to corrupt governments with the other. This is tax payers money. Not theirs.

ElaineBenes Fri 12-Oct-12 00:54:43

Overseas aid money is to help the poorest people on the planet. We're talking about helping children get a primary education, saving newborns who die from the most basic and avoidable diseases, getting kids vaccinated, distributing bednets so pregnant women and babies don't die from malaria, ensuring women have access to contraceptives. We're not talking about anything fancy.

There is corruption and there is an aid industry. The solution is to ensure evidence based programming, transparency, results, evaluation, community involvement. It's not to stop giving! The ones who suffer then are the poorest.

By the way, DFID (the uk aid dept) is considered one of the best aid agencies n terms of effectiveness and transparency.

Yabu, you should be proud that we're not balancing our books at the expense of the most vulnerable and poorest people in the world.

Want2bSupermum Fri 12-Oct-12 00:54:49

While the rich can do what they want their money, as someone who is considered wealthy by the tax system here in the US and the UK, I take it as a responsibility to give back.

I don't think taxpayer money should be spent on aid. If people wish to donate they should be able to and get a deduction from their taxes on the amount donated if the charity benefits British society. I want to see that GBP7 billion cut to zero and refunds given to taxpayers. With a population of 60 million that equates to GBP115 per person, more if you only include those who pay taxes.

ElaineBenes Fri 12-Oct-12 01:00:35


That's rubbish. I was in Kenya designing the m&e component of an aid project. I certainly didn't have a landrover but i did have (my own) ipod charger - should i not have had one?

And we certainly didn't drive aorund looking for victims! True, there is sometimes a whiff of the ridiculous about expat aid workers. And it can be hard to reconcile your standard of living with those of the people around you. But the work is valuable. I don't think aid alone is enough, it wasn't foreign aid which led to china being the superpower it is now, which has taken many millins more out of poverty than foreign aid ever will, but we can't just abandon the 'bottom billion'.

Toombs Fri 12-Oct-12 01:00:42

DFID is who I worked for, the words efficient and transparant are not ones I would use to describe it.

ElaineBenes Fri 12-Oct-12 01:04:26

We're rich by global standards want2be.

As a country it's our moral duty to help the poorest in the world. What would a 'tax refund' of 115 pounds get you? Not much. Compared to what it buys for some of the poorest people in the world. It's saving lives. It's buying vaccines, safe water, sanitation, bednets, trained birth attendants, secure food supplies.

Can you imagine being so helpless that you can't even give birth in a medical facility or have access to a trained medical professional when pregnant?

ElaineBenes Fri 12-Oct-12 01:06:07

It's not me who decided that. It was an independent evaluation of aid agencies. DFID was one of the top. And it is VERY transparent. All project documentation is one their website.

scandy Fri 12-Oct-12 01:06:40

Yes you are being unreasonable. It is unreasonable to imply that British needs are more important than those of other nations. Help should be given where the need is greatest. Helping third world countries is the moral responsibility of those of us lucky enough to live in the first world. And if foreign aid money ends up in the wrong pockets, that's an issue that needs addressing and correcting, rather than just saying "oh we'll, let's just cut foreign aid, it doesn't work anyway".

Wingedharpy Fri 12-Oct-12 01:18:59

I feel the mistake is in giving money as it can be used to fund the bad stuff

(guns, bullets, another Mercedes Benz for the corrupt leader) instead of the

good stuff (food, clothes, medicines, books, pens, pencils).

IMHO it would be better to give expertise, experience, people and products to

make the good stuff happen (Doctors, Nurses, Teachers, Builders, Engineers,

Bricks and mortar to build schools and hospitals and the necessary equipment

and training to enable the people being helped to run these once built).

If it is Britain giving the stuff then the stuff being given should be British so

that some of the positives are gained by British people who are doing the giving.

Same goes for any other country in the world who are choosing to help.

To me this would seem to be a win win situation as it would help to create jobs

at home too.

ElaineBenes Fri 12-Oct-12 01:21:51

That's not true wingedharpy.

Far better for materials and expertise to be local. They don't need expensive British goods and professionals! They need their own!

What you need more of is accountability, transparency and a focus on results.

Wingedharpy Fri 12-Oct-12 01:32:02

Yes, I agree, they do need their own professionals that's why I said :
"equipment and training to enable the people being helped to run these once built".
If they already have their own equipment/materials and professionals and expertise then they don't need aid.

gasguzzler Fri 12-Oct-12 01:48:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Brycie Fri 12-Oct-12 07:49:07

ElaineBenes I agree strongly with your first post of 00:54 and think that's very well put. But I have seen what Toobs is talking about, not in Kenyam but two other countries. I ws pretty disgusted by it I must say.

financialwizard Fri 12-Oct-12 08:01:35

My husband is forces and has served in some places that the government give aid to. He says that the people don't get it and that the government of these countries just get richer.

He also said that he went to a country once where Oxfam, or a similar charity had built huts and things for families to live in and shortly after the charity left the huts were torn down by the people they were built for.

I normally do give to charity, but this Christmas I have a friend who has not got 2 pennies to rub together thankstoherex and I am helping her out instead because she has twin boys that will not get a Christmas otherwise.

MrsKeithRichards Fri 12-Oct-12 08:02:17

In principle, you are being unreasonable.

I accept the issues that exist in getting aid to the right places but I do not begrudge it being given in the first place.

financialwizard Fri 12-Oct-12 08:13:58

and Elainebenes is right. They need to learn how to grow and sustain their own resources likeweshould

threesocksmorgan Fri 12-Oct-12 08:37:35

ya so nbu
I cannot for the life of me get it.
we cannot afford to give money away like this

GoSakuramachi Fri 12-Oct-12 08:39:54

You're on a sticky wicket complaining about aid to places like India. Consider it reparations for the years you colonised them and stole all of their natural resources.

I agree with MrsKeithRichards I would never begrudge helping those less fortunate than me, even if there are issues with making sure it gets to the right people or issues in my own country (you have to remember our country has contributed to a lot of these countries being pretty fucked up, too). I don't think what people are going through in this country is at all comparable to what people in the Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan etc, go through on daily basis. I'd also point out that it's not just a moral issue either, it would benefit our economy if a lot of poor countries became more developed and wished to trade goods with us.

As many people said we need to make sure we're dealing with core issues such as lack of education, healthcare etc and not just providing them with food and materials, which is essentially just putting a sticky plaster on a massive wound.

Faylalu Fri 12-Oct-12 09:42:32

I agree the charity begins at home. I donate to two charities (£2 each a month) and one actually called up asking for more. I explained that I couldn't afford more as money is so tight (I've lost my job, Im pregnant, have a 2 yo and had some mental health issues), but they badgered me about donating more money - it made me soooo mad! He wouldn't take no for an answer so in the end I had to threaten to cancel the whole donation if he didn't piss off. I'm angry that Ive been paying huge taxes for all my working life and to get benefits when I need them the most I feel like a criminal, that I have to jump through hundreds of hoops, prove everything and some people never work! Now Dave wants to cut Maternity Allowance and billions of £'s in other benefits. We're not destitute, but we are poor. So, no you're not being unreasonable at all. My husband and I want out of this country as I don't feel that the govt are in it for people like us.

threesocksmorgan Fri 12-Oct-12 10:05:43

GoSakuramachi Fri 12-Oct-12 08:39:54
You're on a sticky wicket complaining about aid to places like India. Consider it reparations for the years you colonised them and stole all of their natural resources.

what a silly statement, how can expect people now to pay for something that happened way back,
does that mean we should get aid from Germany

GoSakuramachi Fri 12-Oct-12 10:08:08

Germany paid reparations at the time.

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