Lunatic Financial Management ; How much does the UK give away?

Britain's national debt is rising at an accelerated rate. The budget is in deficit. The balance of payments is teetering, and the balance of trade is the worst in history.

This blog has been going on, with others, about the 'world economic storm' that has predictably emerged for around two years ago. That message to my regular reader may well be getting a little repetitive. So I thought that I would do something a little different this fine summer morning and identify what sums Britain is spending on foreigners or international institutions, from the point of view of someone who thinks most of it wasted.

Let's start with the foreign, commonwealth, and 'overseas aid' industry. It is an industry because it has its own executives, rich 'charities' and lobby groups, and appears to spend a great deal of my money, and that of other taxpayers, and of the bond markets we borrow from.

In 2003-4, we gave around 197 millions of pounds to India, 60 millions of which went to privatisation consultants in England and more millions to privatisation consultants in India. In 2007, British aid to India, which has some of the world's poorest people and contains some of the world's worst places to be born a child in, got some £266 millions from the UK; in 2008 almost £300 millions were spent. In 2004-7, we gave around 300 millions.

This means that over a billion pounds was given to 'the world's largest democracy' sixty years or so after its independence. For many years, India pursued a policy of not engaging with the world or developing its resources. India's elites, who for thousands of years have not really cared about its people at all, associated with its bureaucratic classes, have presided over huge poverty that they know countries like Britain will patch up with statist donations of my cash.

Very little of India's huge economic growth seems to be going to its own people, or to dealing with their poverty, but it's alright. We can all drink Cobra beer and toast the success of their industries whilst mythologising the inner temple barrister who got shot when he actually threatened to be a revolutionary apostle of love by emancipating untouchables.

The cost to Pakistan of building a nuclear bomb has been estimated at some 10-12 billions of dollars at 1990s prices, which means around (let's be conservative) seven and a half billions of pounds, obviously at the higher exchange rate. India has been at it since the sixties, tested its first bomb--the 'smiling buddha'--in 1974, and may have been aware of the South African-Israeli tests of 1979 (though I seriously wonder about that story). It certainly had a working bomb programme by the nineties.

India still has no real viable national water or sewage system.

Right, that's billions of my money looking after children other people won't look after whilst I pay their contemptuous elites to indulge themselves. Let's just take a 21st century figure, and be even more generous and stop at 2002. India owes the country that takes my taxes at least £1.2 billions. If they had had serious problems, which they do, it should to my mind have been given by charities based on specific problems and with limited remits. The state should not have been throwing this money away, and if they want they can repay us in uranium and its associated products.

Who else have I been giving money to?

Well, last month, the Prime Minister promised £30 new millions to the Palestinian authority. They spend it on multiple intelligence agencies who do this sort of thing, and Swiss bank accounts.

Over the past ten years, Britain has 'pledged' at least $560 millions of dollars until 2011. At the present exchange rate that represents around £280 millions of pounds. I want that back as well. My source there, incidentally--I am praying--has confused EU and UK aid and trade credits, because if it hasn't that figure is an outrageous donation to a terror nest.

Given how close they are to Pakistani groups, and how about half that country is imploding under pressure of Islamic death cults, the war on terror, and militarism, perhaps we should ask for trade and aid dollars to be paid back by radioactive materials and weapons.

Right, the figure is now, conservatively, 1.6 billions of pounds from two examples alone. Britain's total overseas aid budget is now around £51 billions of pounds per year, but scheduled to rise. The Guardian calls this 'poor', and the government says that this figure is to rise. I make that roughly £822 for every man woman and child legally in this country, and around £1700 for everyone in work.

What else is my money being spent on?

Well, there's always the European parliament, which as this blog has revealed is populated by barely literate muppets and hacks (I like the orginal muppets). No link, I promised not to refer to the confused sectarian currently purporting to speak in my name. The Eu in general has turned out to be a curious deal for Britain, though in the Thatcher years I well remember, because of matching funds, it was one of the few ways to get the British governing classes to spend money on their own people. Europe in absolute, unadjusted, nominal terms, 'costs' Britain around £5 billions a year once the money that is put back in is taken into account.

Many disagree with this figure however. Anti Europeans estimate the cost to be around, £55 billions per year. This is almost certainly a false figure, because it includes the estimated costs of things that would have to be done anyway, and of estimates of restraints on trade that would be replaced by new ones if Britain left. In 2004, civitas estimated that the EU cost between £17 millions and £40 millions a year. Adjusted for inflation and exchange rates, that figure would now be around £25 billions.

Regardless, Europe spends Britain's nominal contribution on nearly £1 billion a year on translators. The European Parliament (at its own estimation) costs around £1.2 billion, including £3.2 million on its own facebook system, and annually spends around £210 millions of pounds on offices in Brussels. A fractional cut in offices, basing the European Parliament in one place or cutting its members to one per district, would save more than Britain's entire contribution.

This has been just a short little survey. Yet I've found £56 billions a year on a highly conservative estimate that we spend to very little positive return. If I added in subsidies to the privatised rail industry, the cost of the private finance initiative, and the difference between the percentage rise in spending expressed in money given to the police and social workers and a similar measure of their productivity, how much more do you think I'd find? I think £100 billions easily. £2.8 billions have been lost on the tax credit scheme alone, for instance.

£100 billions. The total budget is £618 billions. Remember that the next time some government muppet tells you that Britain's economic problems are caused by 'abroad'. Lax monetary policy, selling off the gold, over borrowing for which individual voters were responsible, gross waste of public funds, and a failure to tackle debt or to invest in energy combined with the quick fix of the PFI, and irresponsible foreign aid and European payments are very substantially to blame if Britain crumples in the storm now overhead. Don't just blame Gordon Brown either. This is the fault of the whole media and political class, and a large number of the voters as well.


Merseymike said…
I would tend to agree with you about overseas aid, but the real problem with all of these countries is their gross overpopulation.
Martin Meenagh said…
I can't agree. Life is an end in itself, and if we could have the food and economic systems that could allow for a normal life, people would have fewer children. Women would be able to spend more of their time in careers, and having children would not be both an investment for the future or a hedge against one or two of them dying of disease.

Tis odd--I've been reading a great book on the food industry, which points out that there was actually a population explosion during the 'little ice age' from 1600 to around 1800. This in part contributed to food prices rising, but spurred political and technological change so that populations could rise to today's levels when the earth couldn't previously sustain them.

Choose life and hope, Mike, not some form of rationalised death.