The Immorality of Foreign Aid (2012), Sean Gabb

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Sean Gabb, speaking on BBC West Midlands Radio on the 18th September 2012. He makes these points against foreign aid:

  1. That, as the late Peter Bauer said, it takes money from poor people in rich countries and gives it to rich people in poor countries;
  2. That it also gives large amounts of money to friends and clients of the British ruling class - see, for example, the revelation that £500m of the aid budget goes to well-paid consultants, including Adam Smith International;
  3. That is is also largely given with strings attached, so that the recipients buy British goods - this being a roundabout subsidy to well-connected business interests in this country;
  4. That it enables funds to be diverted in recipient countries to evil or just grandiose ends - for example, every pound spent on feeding the poor in some African countries is another pound he local rulers can spend on bullets; or the fact that British aid to India is about equal to the cost of the Indian space programme;
  5. That where the money is not spent badly, it is often just stolen;
  6. That, if we want to help the really poor in other countries, we should trade with them, or assist them to throw off the rulers who have kept them or made them poor.