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Should we send Foreign Aid to India?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12607537

Personally I think that India is now wealthy enough to fund itself, especially as it's giving out Foreign Aid to other countries

But any other views?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd agree.

    Sadly we all know that aid isn't a charitable gift. It usually comes with strings (e.g. you must spend it on products services from UK business) and so I cannot see the future destination of the money actually going to much better usages.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd agree.

    Sadly we all know that aid isn't a charitable gift. It usually comes with strings (e.g. you must spend it on products services from UK business) and so I cannot see the future destination of the money actually going to much better usages.

    It doesn't normally, which is quite rare for Western Countries because most are like that (which at least has the advantage of knowing where the money is going. It's not mentioned in this article, but a common criticism of Uk aid - especially with some of the places that will be getting extra funding is that there's a large chunk which dissappears due to graft and dody dealing on the ground. personally I accept that as a criticism, but can't see an alternative - though its a complicated ethical conundrum)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think this story focuses far too much on the top line figures, which aren't particularly useful when talking about a country of about a billion people. I think the per capita GDP is a more useful measure, and reveals that despite strong growth, India is still an exceptionally poor country, even compared to the emerging economies it's often lumped in with:

    20. UK ($35,053 USD)
    71. Brazil (11,289)
    93. China (7,518)
    125. Iraq (3,599)
    127. India (3,290)
    128. Vietnam (3,123)

    So what we're actually looking at is a country that is half as rich as China and poorer than Iraq. Now obviously, Iraq is a bit of a special case, but I don't see why positive signs of growth in what is still a very poor country and still has massive social problems, is an excuse to pull our aid.

    Oh, and that was the PPP figures, which are adjusted to reflect the differing cost of living in these countries, and therefore exaggerate the wealth of poorer countries in real terms on an international scale. Here's the above chart in absolute terms:

    21. UK (36,298)
    55. Brazil (10,471)
    95. China (4,283)
    119. Iraq (2,625)
    137. India (1,176)
    138. Vietnam (1,155)

    As much as you might criticise a government for engaging in ego projects like a space programme or hosting major sporting tournaments, I really don't see anything there that suggests a country unworthy of aid, and the fact that the country is going in a positive direction would seem to be more of an encouragement than a reason to stop.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think this story focuses far too much on the top line figures, which aren't particularly useful when talking about a country of about a billion people. I think the per capita GDP is a more useful measure, and reveals that despite strong growth, India is still an exceptionally poor country, even compared to the emerging economies it's often lumped in with:

    20. UK ($35,053 USD)
    71. Brazil (11,289)
    93. China (7,518)
    125. Iraq (3,599)
    127. India (3,290)
    128. Vietnam (3,123)

    So what we're actually looking at is a country that is half as rich as China and poorer than Iraq. Now obviously, Iraq is a bit of a special case, but I don't see why positive signs of growth in what is still a very poor country and still has massive social problems, is an excuse to pull our aid.

    Oh, and that was the PPP figures, which are adjusted to reflect the differing cost of living in these countries, and therefore exaggerate the wealth of poorer countries in real terms on an international scale. Here's the above chart in absolute terms:

    21. UK (36,298)
    55. Brazil (10,471)
    95. China (4,283)
    119. Iraq (2,625)
    137. India (1,176)
    138. Vietnam (1,155)

    As much as you might criticise a government for engaging in ego projects like a space programme or hosting major sporting tournaments, I really don't see anything there that suggests a country unworthy of aid, and the fact that the country is going in a positive direction would seem to be more of an encouragement than a reason to stop.

    That's true, but given that there is only so much money available (and ignoring Iraq which is a special case) shouldn't it go for the poorest in absolute terms?

    (Though you may be right in value for money somewhere like India may be a more effective use of money).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The way they explained it on the news is that even though a few people in India are wealthy, even if the tax rate was 100% and all the money distributed evenly, there wouldn't be enough money for everyone, and the entire population would be in poverty and not just most of them.

    I don't begrudge foreign aid, if it improves the quality of peoples' lives then surely it's a good thing?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I begrudge foreign aid to countries where the richest people there have so much. I don't see why UK services should be cut, and why my taxes should be so high, to pay for the foreign aid.

    If Indians are starving to death then go ask Lakshmi Mittal for some money. He's got more than I have.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I
    If Indians are starving to death then go ask Lakshmi Mittal for some money. He's got more than I have.

    I'm not disagreeing with you, the point I was trying to make was that if the Indian government distributed all the money evenly, the entire population would sink below the poverty line, ie they don't have enough money to give everyone.

    The same thing in the UK would see everyone getting a wage of £26k a year, in India I belive it would be less than £3k.

    Yes, the Indian government has its priorities wrong, Space programme anyone? And needs to do a lot more.

    Also worth realising that people in receipt of foreign help are less likely to hold a grudge against that country in the future, hopefully anyway.
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