The Minister for Development and Africa’s Replies to my Written Parliamentary Questions

I will pursue these matters, as I am concerned about how much aid we give to multinational organisations to spend for us. Having a voice at the Board table in general discussion does not mean all the aid spent will be in ways and in places we would choose, and it does raise issues over accountability for such large sums of money. Given the need to control public spending better it makes little sense to trust international organisations to spend money for us. 

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (92049):

Question:
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what unrestricted aid funding the Government provides to international organisations. (92049)

Tabled on: 21 November 2022

Answer:
Mr Andrew Mitchell:

In 2021 £4,277 million of UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) was delivered through core contributions to multilateral organisations. This was 37.4 per cent of the total UK ODA budget.

Multilateral organisations, including the United Nations, global health and education funds, the international financial institutions and the Commonwealth are essential partners in achieving the UK’s goals. The UK uses its voice on multilateral boards to ensure decisions align with UK priorities, including how and where their funds are spent.

The answer was submitted on 29 Nov 2022 at 16:00.

 

 

 

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (92050):

Question:
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government takes to assess the suitability and value for money of (a) projects organised by and (b) grants from international organisations. (92050)

Tabled on: 21 November 2022

Answer:
Mr Andrew Mitchell:

The suitability and value for money of international organisations receiving Official Development Assistance (ODA), including the projects they organise and grants they provide, is continually assessed through FCDO annual reviews and business cases, as set out in the Department’s Programme Operating Framework.

The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) independently scrutinises UK ODA to international organisations to assess value for money and impact, including recent ICAI reviews of tackling fraud in multilateral organisations and of the UK’s work with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM). The UK is also a member of the Multilateral Organisation Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN), which carries out regular assessments of multilateral organisations.

The answer was submitted on 29 Nov 2022 at 16:01.

123 Comments

  1. Mark B
    December 6, 2022

    Good morning

    So the government contracts out its responsibilities to the ICAI. The people at the top of the ICAI seem very reputable and responsible but, at what additional cost to the taxpayer ? I also note that they report directly to parliament and not to the FCO and the Foreign Secretary. Of course I could be wrong, but if not, this seems a very disjointed way of doing things.

    Of course I cannot find a great deal about this organisation and what we are spending on, but I did find this :

    https://icai.independent.gov.uk/reviews/future-work-plan/

    If our kind host allows.

    How can it be right to give aid to India, a country with nuclear weapons and a space program ? It seems to me that such an organisation is a mear fig leaf to hid the governments embarrassment.

    If it had any !

    1. Clough
      December 6, 2022

      Ah, but this is ‘aligned with our goals’, we’re told. Where it gets interesting is trying to understand what those goals might be. We don’t have to guess, we’re told by this HoC library document:
      https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-9567/

      – Reliable investment to help UK partners grow sustainably
      – Empowering women and girls, with a focus on ensuring girls receive 12 years of quality education, supporting reproductive and sexual health, and ending violence against women and girls.
      -Provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to those in greatest need
      – Climate change, biodiversity, and global health. The strategy confirms climate change and biodiversity as the UK’s “number one” international priority.

      So is India ‘growing sustainably’, empowering women and girls, saving lives and fighting climate change? Perhaps the FCO can explain how all those coal-fired power stations in India are aligned with our goals, for a start. Perhaps they can also explain how contributing our aid money to empower Indian women and girls is going. The WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report 2022 ranks India down at 135th out 146 in terms of discrimination against women. It doesn’t look like value for money to me.

    2. James Freeman
      December 6, 2022

      The government told us aid to India would stop after 2015, and the Indian government said they did not want us to provide it. Yet the ICAI estimates between 2016 and 2020, the UK supplied around £1.9 billion of aid to India. Either the government lied, or the steps outlined to control spending are ineffective. Meanwhile, people in less developed countries have gone without fresh water and basic medical help.

      1. Hope
        December 6, 2022

        How many doctors or nurses could this buy?120,000? Better still it would help the speedy build of the 40 new hospitals promised.

        Bailey is still in post, why? I want him investigated. His claim blaming Truss in contrast to his actions creating the turbulence and mess cannot be true.

    3. hefner
      December 6, 2022

      Reading the .pdf document under Aid to India/Approach I noticed on page 5 that the UK stopped some years ago (2015?) providing money to the Indian Government but has now been directly providing some (I guess carefully chosen) Indian private companies with capital investment. Which to me seems to make the argument about ‘aid to a country with nuclear weapons and a space program’ somewhat moot, don’t you think?

      1. Mike Wilson
        December 6, 2022

        Which to me seems to make the argument about ‘aid to a country with nuclear weapons and a space program’ somewhat moot, don’t you think?

        We have a lot of people living in appalling conditions. We have nuclear weapons and take part in a space program. Does any foreign government give us money to help people here who have to use food banks and who can’t afford to heat their homes? Come to think of it, shouldn’t our aid budget be spent here?

    4. Michelle
      December 6, 2022

      Industry, innovation and infrastructure I note are some of the areas we’ve been sending aid to India to help with.
      So we help others to become a strong industrial economy, but at home?
      Well, there’s never any money is there.

      I just don’t know what more proof people require that there is this ideal to elevate the rest of the world while we slip further and further down into undeveloped status.
      I also note the report talks of India’s skills shortage. No doubt we’ll be paying to rectify that for them, and yet refuse to set in motion here any serious and robust efforts to tackle our skills shortages, which have been deliberately manufactured in order to keep immigration high.

      1. Hope
        December 6, 2022

        UK issued 2,678 golden visas out of 1.2 million last year. This clearly shows that the best and brightest were not allowed in, 1,197,000 visas were not the best or brightest. The cost to the taxpayer higher for the low paid immigrants allowed in. Is this correct JR?

        Snake and Hunt is on a mission to destroy our culture and way of life by mass immigration.

      2. Donna
        December 7, 2022

        Agenda 2030 requires the West to be levelled down. They don’t want a 3rd world …. so the 1st world must be destroyed and £billions transferred. It’s a deliberate policy and the Climate Change scam is the way they intend to achieve it.

    5. Nottingham Lad Himself
      December 6, 2022

      Thirty-odd billion thrown away on useless T&T “consultants”.

      7+% of GDP going on ever-rising crime.

      But hey, let’s focus on cutting help to kids in the Third World who are desperate for an education and for clean drinking water.

      Keep grinding what’s left of those teeth.

  2. Ian Wragg
    December 6, 2022

    In other words the ODA has no control over how almost 5 billion of overseas aid is spent and some of it could actually be damaging to the UK.
    It’s time the whole scam was wound up and disaster aid only provided.
    All this bogus asylum invasion should be paid for from the aid budget.

    1. Cuibono
      December 6, 2022

      I had a mad thought last night.
      What if the invasion were not as bad as the govt. and media claim.
      What if the govt. is using our natural fear (much like our fear of the plague) to impose digital identity on us?
      Sunak has said there is no intention of ID cards.
      But that in itself is a bad sign.

      1. Lifelogic
        December 6, 2022

        Sunak also promised us in the manifesto he stood on:- no increases in income tax, NI or VAT, to maintain the state pension triple lock, to control immigration and to keep debt under control. But ratted on all of it & delivered vast increases in taxes, frozen allowance, open door immigration, vast deliberately & caused inflation from money printing and vast increases in government debt. Plus net zero to increase energy, travel and other costs hugely even further.

        https://www.conservatives.com/our-plan

        1. Lifelogic
          December 6, 2022

          The Manifesto also promised Strengthening the NHS, Investing in Schools, A strong Economy & Safer Streets.

          They virtually shut the NHS killing thousands and we now have the highest waiting list ever. Made even worth by the net harm vaccines.
          They shut schools and made the children wear useless masks with disastrous results.
          They destroyed the Economy with the lock downs, over taxation, over regulation, currency debasement and net zero.
          They gave up on crime and they blocked the streets so as to increase congestion and pollution and prevent people getting to work etc.

          1. Lifelogic
            December 6, 2022

            For good measure they also coerced inefective and often dangerous vaccines in to to people and gave us rip off energy costs with their net zero insanity and low skilled immigration to depress wages and be a further burden on other tax payers as they need houses, schools, medical care, police, legal aid, roads, benefits…and will pay very little tax in.

          2. Cuibono
            December 6, 2022

            The trouble is…
            They have to lie to their true masters in order to serve the ones they really fear.
            They promise us the earth and hand over an empty, rancid eggshell.

            Utter treachery.

          3. Hope
            December 6, 2022

            Gene therapy injections now authorised to six month old babies! This govt is out of control in destroying our nation.

            Just watched Mitchell talking about aid superpower! He’s lost his marbles! He also said 0.7% is what the world agreed? What does he mean JR? Who is telling UK it must waste this amount?

        2. glen cullen
          December 6, 2022

          ”net-zero to increase energy, travel and other costs hugely even further”
          …and will curtail your freedom of choice, and as reported today restrict where and when you can drive …next it will be a countrywide 20mph limit (unless you’re a VIP or MP) mark my works

      2. Peter Wood
        December 6, 2022

        I used to live in a country that used ID cards. That country also had an illegal migrant problem, but the facility of ID card very quickly found the illegals living amongst us. This was because whenever you interacted with any government department, bank or post office or doctor, rent or buy a house or tax a car, you had to show your ID card. Quite simply, you couldn’t live without one. I suppose you have to decide if you think you are better-off without such a tool, which certainly could be misused by government, and have lots of illegal migrants roaming around, or make it easy to round up the illegals.

        1. Matthu
          December 6, 2022

          The government know who many of the illegals are, and offer them free hotel accommodation!

        2. Cuibono
          December 6, 2022

          Agree.
          But the powers that be are so treacherous they’d likely foist ID cards onto us with promises of no illegals and then declare an immigrant amnesty!
          And then another…

        3. Lynn Atkinson
          December 6, 2022

          You could use the NI numbers which are issued by the Govt to citizens to see how well this system would work. There are apparently millions of NI numbers more than there are people in the country.
          Nothing is more useful than a passport, real or fake, that removes human scrutiny. ID cards are perfect for that purpose and I’m sure that like Covid passports they will be available in multiples of 50 for a few quid in Karachi. All the stamps, dated etc.

      3. Hope
        December 6, 2022

        We read treacherous Cameron watered down anti-strike laws to get unions to campaign for remaining in EU!

        Sunak and Hunt determined to water down Brexit and closely align with EU. England going to be broke up into regions to quell resistance under dishonest guise of devolution. When will Brexiteers see the dishonest party for what it is?

        I think it is becoming clear Truss was ousted by remain coup because UK would diverge and be economic threat to EU.

        Your party is both treasonous and dishonest.

        Just get out.

        1. Lifelogic
          December 7, 2022

          Indeed Truss was ousted in a clear coup by Tory MPs against the views of more far sensible Tory Members. She had no chance. Her growth policies, from the currently hugely over taxed position, is the only sensible way to go. Even if she/Kwasi had prepared the ground better and had announced saving first (like HS2 and net zero) she had no chance too many remainers, green crap pushers and socialist Tory MPs.

        2. a-tracy
          December 8, 2022

          And what you propose Hope will get Labour/SNP, with Gordon Brown already revealing that:
          1 “we propose to seek joint ventures with the European Investment Bank, among a series of measures, to invest in local infrastructure.”
          2 About 50,000 civil servants and a host of agencies will be dispersed out of London.
          [London is having a meltdown because the ENO was asked to move its HQ out of London to Manchester, affecting less than 300 people, so what kickback will their unions cause to this plan.]
          3. A new second chamber would lose its right to delay ordinary legislation for a year
          [so does this mean anything Labour proposes won’t get blocked by the Lords as Conservatives are blocked frequently since 2016!]

          1. a-tracy
            December 9, 2022

            We’ve seen some of these Labour councils investments, in Thurrock, in Warrington!

      4. Mike Wilson
        December 6, 2022

        What’s wrong with ID cards?

        1. Lifelogic
          December 7, 2022

          I have two already a driving licence and passport. Both cost me money.

    2. Lifelogic
      December 6, 2022

      +1. Governments should only tax us to provide only those very few things like law and order and defence the state could do better than individuals, charities and companies – not much more than that. Once they do that competently perhaps one or two other things.

      1. Lifelogic
        December 6, 2022

        “I fear nobody can save Britain from its inevitable, catastrophic collapse
        Covid and the Ukraine war were supposed to trigger a shift towards greater resilience. They haven’t”

        Sherelle Jacobs today.

        But the Tories under Sunak are clearly not even trying to. She blames the problems on Covid and Putin. Not so the problems are due to the absurd over reaction to covid, the lock down, the vast government waste, the absurdly high tax levels, the money printing inflation tax and the net zero religion. Putins war is only a minor blip on top of this gross incompetence.

        1. rose
          December 6, 2022

          LL, I would put Net Zero at the top of the list of malign causes. Even above shutting down the country for two and a half years and printing all that money to pay people to acquire the taste for staying at home..

          1. Fedupsoutherner
            December 6, 2022

            I agree Rose. Even our farmers are at breaking point because of high energy prices and prices for fertilisers etc. What the hell is this government doing still going down the route of net zero? All they can come up with are onshore windfarms. Stupid is as stupid does.

    3. rose
      December 6, 2022

      Yes, Ian, the whole scam must stop. The root cause of the corruption is the mad insistence on having a percentage of GDP go on foreign aid, regardless of what happens. Disaster relief only, as you say, is the way to go.

  3. Cuibono
    December 6, 2022

    I wonder what these oh so generous people would think if this money were being used to do to African cities what is being done to Oxford?
    Virtually sealing people into a small area.
    Would that be an acceptable use of our money?

  4. Bob Dixon
    December 6, 2022

    Bugger overseas aid!
    Why should U.K. taxpayers be funding this largesse?

  5. Donna
    December 6, 2022

    In other words they bung these Globalist and multi-national organisations / charity quangos £millions of OUR money and they effectively have no control over it and don’t want any control over it.

    It’s time the Aid Scam was halted. We should provide disaster assistance in the form of skills, equipment and manpower ….. but there should be no money changing hands.

  6. Cuibono
    December 6, 2022

    Obviously this money is being used to implement all things “sustainable”.
    ie it is not good news for Africa. Very BAD news in fact.
    Do these other countries really want to end up like Europe?

    1. rose
      December 6, 2022

      On the one hand African countries have Europeans telling them not to farm their land, and on the other they have the Chinese taking it over.

    2. Original Richard
      December 6, 2022

      Cuibono :

      Except that “climate action”, our ruling elites excuse for the economy destroying Net Zero Strategy, is only number 13 on the UN’s list of “Sustainable Development Goals” :

      https://sdgs.un.org/

      There is no empirical evidence for climate emergency/breakdown/caastrophe.

  7. Sea_Warrior
    December 6, 2022

    I suggest, again, that taxpayers should be given an option, when submitting their tax return, to pay 0.7% of their income to the FCDO, for ‘aid’, and that those contributions should be the totality of the department’s aid budget. I wouldn’t tick the box! (I support three UK charities.)
    Am I right in thinking that the government aims to spend 0.7% of GNI on ‘aid’ but doesn’t bother to count individual charitable donations against that total – nor the attendant ‘gift aid’?

    1. Lifelogic
      December 6, 2022

      No need for government to force people to pay taxes for them to give this away in “charitable” giving at all. Just let the voters give their own money to charities if and as they wish. Cut out the many wasteful middle men.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        December 6, 2022

        Let the voters use the ‘aid’ to pay their own heating and food bills!

    2. Mark B
      December 6, 2022

      Great idea !!

      Whenever I go shopping, either in the high street or on line, I am offered the chance to donate to a charitable cause. But then again, as I said long, long ago, when sice has the government got in the charity business ?

      1. Shirley M
        December 6, 2022

        The government gives money to charities that take the government to court. Which ones are the useful idiots, the government or the charities? We pay twice, as usual. Who is pulling whose strings?

    3. formula57
      December 6, 2022

      @ Sea-Warrior – as soon as one expenditure category is made optional for taxpayers to fund, on what grounds could any be withheld from such option?

    4. glen cullen
      December 6, 2022

      Our taxpayer funded ‘aid’ hasn’t, over the past 50 years, stopped war, curtailed famine nor helped organic social & industrial development of any country

    5. hefner
      December 6, 2022

      SW, You can declare your charitable donations when doing your self-assessment using form HS342, and they (HMRC) will add it up to whatever tax relief you are entitled to.

      1. Sea_Warrior
        December 7, 2022

        Thanks, Hef – but I think that you’ve missed my point.

    6. Peter Parsons
      December 6, 2022

      A good idea, but maybe it should be applied to all areas of government spending. A complete check box list that I can say yes or no to for everything when I file my return.

  8. BOF
    December 6, 2022

    This whole Foreign Aid scam needs to be scrapped and replaced with aid for natural disasters only, earthquake, drought etc. Whatever Mitchell says, vast amounts disappear in corruption, and always will. Only direct control and accountability can be trusted.

    We, the tax payers cannot afford these billions, now stealing from future generations. As an exiting Minister once wrote. There is no money left.

    1. Mickey Taking
      December 6, 2022

      Back in the day (2010) there was a collection in a well known charitable organisation for Aid to Haiti. They contacted their Government I believe asking for organisations they might support. The response was that all monies should be transfered to them. I’ll leave you to imagine whether that money got to that Government, or not!

    2. rose
      December 6, 2022

      BOF how do you think someone managed to divert some of the Foreign Aid money to domestic hoteliers? And are the lawyers being paid for by the Foreign Aid budget? If not they should be until the malpractice is discontinued.

      1. a-tracy
        December 7, 2022

        Rose, I saw a lawyer tweet that the money lawyers earn on asylum claims was low because it was just legal aid, but I’ve also heard of significant cases racking up £100s of thousands. I wonder if it is identified as what share of legal aid?

    3. glen cullen
      December 6, 2022

      +1

  9. Cuibono
    December 6, 2022

    Super JR tweets re railways and NHS.
    Keep tweeting JR!! Please.

    Not acceptable to remember BR with affection I know, but on Boxing Day there was always a blazing open fire and a cheery smile in the ticket office/waiting room.
    And plenty of trains!

    1. rose
      December 6, 2022

      I am not on Twitter, despite the change of management, but used to enjoy seeing the tweets at the side of this page. No longer, alas. Can they please come back, Sir John?

  10. Narrow Shoulders
    December 6, 2022

    Why is there a Minister for Africa?

    1. Cuibono
      December 6, 2022

      +1
      Possibly because ( I think) the G20 entered into a Compact with Africa.
      Nothing to do with “boots on the ground” or mineral wealth you understand.

    2. Lynn Atkinson
      December 6, 2022

      Well there is an MP for London in the French Parliament.

  11. Stred
    December 6, 2022

    Andrew Mitchell was promoting his foreign aid on BBC News night. He has always been all for more of it. Truss chose the prominent Green advocate to assess Green policy costs. Now we have the biggest aid spaffer in charge of spaffing.
    I don’t know how genuine Conservative MPs can stand staying in the same space as the current shove ins.

    1. glen cullen
      December 6, 2022

      Is that the same Andrew Mitchell of the plebgate affair and the main tory helping in giving away 0.7% gdp of taxpayers money

  12. Enigma
    December 6, 2022

    Please would you support an amendment to the Financial Services and Markets Bill tabled by Sally-Ann Hart that will make it illegal for payment services providers to refuse to provide services to customers in the UK because they have said something, or supported a cause, which the provider disapproves of, even though it is perfectly lawful. Thank you.

    1. The Prangwizard
      December 6, 2022

      Very important, email your MP. We must act firmly to protect ourselves, and our freedoms which are being taken from us, followed automatically by persecution. This gov is not to be trusted. This is the second time for this amendment, it lied and cheated in an attempt to get rid of it on its first submission.

    2. Peter Parsons
      December 6, 2022

      Why are you advocating that private businesses should have no choice about who they do business with and be compelled to do business with someone they don’t wish to? That is an authoritarian attitude.

      What about freedom of choice?

      1. rose
        December 6, 2022

        What is your rule on monopolies? And oligopolies where all the companies adopt the same authoritarian politics?

        1. Peter Parsons
          December 6, 2022

          There are no payment services providers who are monopolies.

          Monopolies shoudn’t exist, that is why the UK has a Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

  13. Shirley M
    December 6, 2022

    You say we give billions away, and we have no idea where large parts of it go, or how it is spent! Typical! May I suggest you stop spending it? You have no idea, full stop. Money for other countries, no object, as usual, even if you haven’t a clue where it goes or what is being done with it. It would be unbelievable, but with this government it is only too believable.

    1. Mickey Taking
      December 6, 2022

      where it goes? Switzerland and off shore at a guess.

  14. majorfrustration
    December 6, 2022

    How much is this country required to borrow this year to balance the books and yet we still give it away. More jobs for the boys.

  15. Julian Flood
    December 6, 2022

    The ‘aid’ budget as presently constituted could be used for a lot of dubious purposes, so it should be cut to £2,000,000,000 which is a lot of money
    A bank account for voluntary donations, well publicised, should be opened so those who think £2,000,000,000 is insufficiently generous could top it up.

    The administration of the fund should then be delegated to the Salvation Army

    JF

  16. James1
    December 6, 2022

    Absolutely incredible that our clown politicians are borrowing money to give it away by the billions. They are also taxing the increasingly hard pressed private sector to the extent that many companies can barely afford to pay living wages to their staff.

  17. , George Brooks.
    December 6, 2022

    You really do have a daft lot of fellow MPs surrounding you, Sir John. Here we are flat broke, taxed up to the eyeballs, throwing money round the world like a man with no arms. In addition, we have a chancellor who has put the lid on growth and stopped us getting much needed gas and oil out of the North Sea with a windfall tax on the only people who can do it.

    If this had been written in a book the author would have been accused of taking fiction too far!

    1. Original Richard
      December 6, 2022

      George Brooks : “….we have a chancellor who has put the lid on growth and stopped us getting much needed gas and oil out of the North Sea with a windfall tax on the only people who can do it.”

      During the last century the Marxists insisted that we should move to an authoritative government, namely Communism, because it was a better, more productive system that would increase GDP and GDP/capita.

      Now they say that we should become an authoritarian/communist state in order to reduce GDP to save the planet. Hence their wish to restrict travel, heating and eating.

      In the last century the communists starved tens of millions of people to death. This century, by restricting the use of affordable, reliable fossil fuels they intend to starve billions to death.

  18. agricola
    December 6, 2022

    You play the game according to parliamentary rules and are given a sum of £4.2 billion the destination of which is known already. So how about a simple audit. Who exactly received what. What did they spend it on ie:- how many bore holes have been sunk, schools opened, maternitg and health clinics opened etc. Then lets have an audit of outcomes. I can accept spending money, our tax payers money, if I can see positive results.

    1. agricola
      December 6, 2022

      OK so above is the formal response to the situation as it is. I would change the situation. An end to aid through agencies and big charities, because we loose control and nobody knows it was the UK taxpayer trying to help.
      Better choose a country, and a project that allows the participants to trade. Following the principal that trade is better than aid even if aid kicks it off. There is so much we import, be it power, food, or technology. Providing we understand it is an investment, educational, training, and management project that leads to a stand alone export venture that can be built on. We then end with a partner, partners are better in every respect than dependents.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        December 6, 2022

        I don’t! Why should ‘positive results’ in Africa be bought with pain in England?

  19. Nigl
    December 6, 2022

    Another example of politicians contempt for the tax payer. I now refuse any charities that fund overseas.

    1. rose
      December 6, 2022

      RNLI sends a lot of your money abroad for woke causes. Funny they don’t tell their donors. This has been going on a long time and gives a clue to why they also provide a free taxi service for illegal immigrants.

      1. Shirley M
        December 7, 2022

        rose: I suspect the RNLI are getting paid for their taxi service. Why else would they put foreigners ahead of the Brits who fund them … or do we?

  20. formula57
    December 6, 2022

    So the Minister says that “The suitability and value for money of international organisations receiving Official Development Assistance ….is continually assessed through FCDO annual reviews and business cases,…”.

    I for one am tremendously reassured and it would never occur to me, I am sure, to give Jim Hacker’s rejoinder when Sir Humphrey Appleby explained arms exports controls: –

    Appleby – “Stringent security, rigorous inspections, meticulous scrutiny.”
    Hacker – “You mean it’s all a facade?”
    Appleby – “Ah.- I think this conversation should end here”

    I am glad you do not propose to let Ministers end this conversation. The foreign aid industry is a racket from which the British people should be spared.

  21. Iain Moore
    December 6, 2022

    The question to ask Aid groupie Mitchell is ….After 70 years giving Aid, and trillions of Dollars thrown at it, when are any of these ‘developing countries’ actually ever going to achieve the status of ‘developed’ and no longer needing hand outs?

    Aid was originally envisioned as a temporary measure to generate an inflow of investment, it has morphed into a perpetual cash guzzler , keeping parasitical NGOs in business, for their business model depends on selling misery to the West in return for cash, it would be bad for business for Aid to actually achieve anything.

    1. formula57
      December 6, 2022

      @ Iain Moore – exactly so. The late Professor Peter Bauer cogently argued that foreign aid was a waste, not least that it harmed the recipients.

      1. rose
        December 6, 2022

        And Eli Kedourie used to say, “The poor are a goldmine”.

        Aid kills enterprise.

  22. Chris S
    December 6, 2022

    We should be controlling and distributing far more of our aid spending direct to end users.

    Giving money direct to recipient countries would ensure we have influence with them and we could ensure that much of the benefits are delivered through British contractors.

    The aid fund is so large that it is obviously easy to just give it away to NGOs. Extra staff would obviously be needed but they too can be funded from the savings made by less corruption and the immense running costs of NGOs and the UN.
    Perhaps your next question to the minister should be to ask if we are still contributing to aid funding distributed via
    Brussels ? I bet we are!

  23. Bloke
    December 6, 2022

    Accountability is too vague and loose. Money should be spent more carefully with value for money and accurate measurable results. Each nation should protect its own citizens as their own priority. Only those needing emergency assistance should be supported, temporarily to enable them to cope for themselves.

  24. agricola
    December 6, 2022

    Way off todays designated piste, but highly relelevant. Labours back of an envelope plan, if one can credit it with such a description. At best aspirational, at worst highly divisive of the United Kingdom. In fact a formula for its destruction while maintaining the SNP on an IV drip to aid and abet the process. Yet another failure to add to Brown’s CV after selling gold at the bottom of the market. An unparalleled opportunity to define what Conservatism is in answer to the national destruction offered by Labour.

    1. Peter Parsons
      December 6, 2022

      Devolution of power down to more local levels as opposed to centralising in one place is part of successful economies such as the USA and Germany. Imagine the outcry in the USA if it were proposed that the state legislatures were to be stripped of all their powers to have it centralised in Washington DC or the German Lande were to be disempowered with everything done out of Berlin.

      The UK is already one of the most centralised countries in the world. The last thing we need is to make that worse.

      1. agricola
        December 6, 2022

        PP, nobody to my knowledge in Germany or the USA is using the devolution of powers to drip feed the destruction of either Germany or the USA. That sadly cannot be said for tbe United Kingdom. The EU is at it in Northern Ireland aided and abetted by Biden. The SNP is beavering away in Scotland. Socialism is burrowing away at every opportunity throughout England. Wales is less active because they know who is paying the bill. Be very cautious of what you wish for.

        1. Mickey Taking
          December 6, 2022

          and all done in plain sight.

        2. Peter Parsons
          December 6, 2022

          What the likes of the SNP claim to want is more devolution. While so much is still centralised in Westminster, they can also claim to be hamstrung by decisions entirely beyond their control. Perhaps the best way for those who believe in the current makeup of the UK to maintain the UK is to give those who advocate for its dissolution the “rope to hang themselves with” and more devolution is that rope.

      2. Peter2
        December 6, 2022

        Parish Councils
        Local Councils
        Local Mayors
        Local Police Commissioners
        County Councils
        Local Area Authorities.
        Local investment boards
        Devolved Governments
        The list of localised power away from the centre goes on and on beyond these few examples.

        1. glen cullen
          December 7, 2022

          A lot of smoke, mirrors and big budgets in that list ….maybe we should revert to ‘local councils’ with accountable ‘local councillors’ that worked for decades
          National government are transferring the role, job and responsibility to local government agencies but not the power, control or funds – local government is now just a vehicle to implement their laws ie Net Zero

        2. Peter Parsons
          December 7, 2022

          And yet while those groups exist, policies such as the academisation of schools take away the responsibility (in this case for local education) from those groups and centralise it in Westminster and Whitehall.

          Most councils are little more than a delivery function for the legal requirements mandated by central government. Have a look at how much of what your local council(s) do that is actually discretionary. You’ll be amazed at how little the percentage of activity or spend actually is.

          1. Peter2
            December 7, 2022

            Local Councils spend billions Peter

  25. Bryan Harris
    December 6, 2022

    Given the need to control public spending better it makes little sense to trust international organisations to spend money for us.

      A totally correct response, considering the vast sums involved and the fact that so many international organisations cannot be fully trusted due to their woke leanings.

    We need more than a single seat at the table – we need full justification for the money we provide:
    – how much of that money goes to the front line and how much is used up in administration, or otherwise siphoned off?
    – we should have proof that the actions of each project are actually doing some good;
    – how has our money changed / improved lives, long term?

    I have little faith that charities and international relief agencies are doing the best they possibly can, given that none of the targeted problems ever go away – Yet we get a continuous chorus of pleading to give them our cash!

  26. Gareth Warren
    December 6, 2022

    Thankyou for addressing this, no doubt you will receive criticism for “a lack of generosity”, the reply should be you cannot be generous with someone elses money.

    One key problem I have today is we are currently applying sanctions on Russia to reduce their ability to wage war. Do we have controls to stop billions of pounds we hand out as aid being sent to Russia via trade?

    The fact t0hat a foreign organisation is making the decision how to to distribute aid infers we have no control over how it is spent.

  27. glen cullen
    December 6, 2022

    Almost half a billion in aid, and the recipients don’t even know its from us (that’s if they get it) ….where just keeping them in poverty and servitude
    Stop all government development, assistance, foreign and educational aid …stop using taxpayers money to satisfy your own virtuous position – if people want to support these programme they can donate via the various charity organisation

    1. glen cullen
      December 6, 2022

      ”Almost eleven & half a billion”

  28. Richard Jenkins
    December 6, 2022

    Insofar as the director of ICAI, Dr Tamsyn Barton, worked earlier in her career for nine years at DFID, would it be unfair to suggest that DFID is marking its own homework?

    1. Glenn Vaughan
      December 6, 2022

      I look forward to Lifelogic giving us complete details of Dr Tamsyn Barton’s educational background.

  29. No Longer Anonymous
    December 6, 2022

    Couldn’t aid take the form of a National Service ? Such that we train up young people with vital skills to serve abroad and then they can bring those skills back here once they’ve served 2 years. I also think it better to bring their kids over here and train them up too and what they take back with them is a lifelong gift to the nation. Otherwise money going abroad so often ends up in corruption.

    Unlike military conscription what snowflake could possibly object ?

  30. Bert Young
    December 6, 2022

    Control over our own money is key . Where and how we spend is our decision – especially at a time of economic austerity . Priority is at home not abroad .

    1. Mickey Taking
      December 6, 2022

      I would like to know where our money given to Scotland goes, in fact the Scots don’t seem to know either.

      1. Peter Parsons
        December 6, 2022

        The net fiscal balance (taxes raised vs public spending) for the North West of England is much higher than for Scotland.

        1. a-tracy
          December 7, 2022

          This is interesting https://www.scotfact.com/scotland-share-of-uk-deficit
          2018-19 England has a relatively small deficit of £4,954m, Northern Ireland’s deficit is almost twice as large at £9,401m, with Wales and Scotland returning higher deficits at £13,519 and £13,499 respectively.
          Are some of the revenues counted as London because of Head Office locations rather than where the revenue was made?
          The figures for the NW are depressing, I wonder which party is mainly representing the failing areas of the NW?

          1. a-tracy
            December 7, 2022

            Peter, do you know why the North East split into Yorkshire and the Humber (8.2% of the population) and the North East (4% of the population)? North West represents (11% of the population). It makes me wonder if any areas of the NW are in surplus, so if you hived the most productive 4% off you could affect the statistics.

  31. Kenneth
    December 6, 2022

    A ridiculously large sum of our money going abroad.

    An insult to workers who are toiling and then see their money given away.

    1. Mike Wilson
      December 6, 2022

      An insult to workers who are toiling and then see their money given away.

      None of their money is being given away. It’s borrowed money. It will be for future generations to pay back.

  32. Stred
    December 6, 2022

    Talking of wasting taxpayer’s money. Could you ask the ministers for health why they have secured 500 million mRNA vaccines for boosters at a cost of £20 each or perhaps £100 each at the new increased Pfizer price? This number is 7 x the whole population. How much are they planning to spend on a jab which does not prevent transmission and lasts 3 months on disease which for most people is like a cold?

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/11/uk-orders-extra-covid-vaccines-for-autumn-2022-booster-campaign

  33. Michael Saxton
    December 6, 2022

    Both answers are completely unacceptable; surely as taxpayers we have a right to know exactly where our money has been sent? And I mean exactly. Which Country, which organisation, how much and why was it allocated? And who is accountable for auditing the money to ensure is goes to where it’s intended and needed? I would prefer to have zero overseas budget as it’s been proved wasteful and frivolous. I would be prefer instead an unspecified overseas emergency contingency fund that can be used for natural disasters but with rigorous control and auditing.

    1. rose
      December 6, 2022

      The appointment of Mr Mitchell to this post was just about the most derpessing one the usurper made. It showed he had no imagination or aspiration at all.

  34. mancunius
    December 6, 2022

    “recent ICAI reviews of tackling fraud in multilateral organisations”
    In the most recent ICAI review (March 2022 – not really ‘recent’) the ICAI makes three strong recommendations to improve the monitoring of fraud risk:

    1) FCDO should establish a risk-based portfolio approach to managing governance risks across funding to all multilateral organisations.
    2) FCDO should continue to build stronger coalitions with like-minded donors to maintain counter-fraud and good governance as a top priority for multilateral organisations.
    3) FCDO should renew and document its assessment of the European Commission’s ODA fraud risk management, in line with its processes for all multilateral organisations it funds.
    (The ICAI expresses particular concern about the EU’s disgracefully poor record in accounting for spending.)

    Given that these ‘recent’ ICAI recommendations to Andrew Mitchell’s department are now nine months old and approaching their anniversary, Sir John, you might be tempted to ask him what has been done by the FCDO to implement them?

  35. Bill Mayes
    December 6, 2022

    I had no idea that any Overseas Aid funding was handed to multi-lateral orgs. Is it public knowledge?
    I find it difficult to understand why our money is handed via a third party who will take their ‘expenses’ out of it before the end recipients see any of it.
    What is the OA office for, if it merely hands out our money to some other party to distribute at will? Who takes the responsibility to ensure none of it is handed to unworthy causes and what actions will be taken in the event of fraud? None? The same as we had with the ridiculous furlough payments where £4 Billion was lost and never pursued by the Treasury?

  36. Wanderer
    December 6, 2022

    What a lot of money, not spent on us. You mentioned the UN. I’m currently living in Vienna, which has a big UN presence. They sometimes advertise for local jobs, though from talking to unsuccessful applicants, you don’t have a chance unless you know someone there ( they prefer people with “international experience”). The salaries are eye-watering: circa 30,000 euros a year (plus subsidised everything from childcare to food), for delivering internal mail. That’s well over the top, even for here. Goodness knows what the management earn.

    1. mancunius
      December 7, 2022

      Some answers can be found on the ‘Glassdoor.de.’ website (google ‘United Nations Wien/Gehälter’).
      An Administrative Assistant gets a salary of 77,000 euros, a Chief of Section 79,000 euros, a researcher 95,000-100,000 euros. Given the tax-free status and massive expensive allowances, as you say, it amounts to quite a lot.
      Ah, but of course Ministers of Development throughout the west (generously donating the money of poor taxpayers) are often hoping to crown their ministerial careers by being recruited to the wealthy NGOs and enjoying the tax-free benefits of said ‘development aid’.
      We also continue to pay the EU for the benefits of ex-EU Commissioners and Brussels civil servants who now fill the House of Lords.

      1. mancunius
        December 8, 2022

        *expense* allowances – not ‘expensive’

  37. Jackie
    December 6, 2022

    SirJohn – perhaps you could devote a piece tomorrow to the news of the PPE scandal and allow us to comment? Tks

    1. rose
      December 6, 2022

      The PPE scandal is more understandable. The Chinese had bought up the world’s supplies and the whole world was scrambling to get it. The Americans (major international suppliers in normal times) couldn’t get it; the Germans couldn’t get it and doctors had to supply their own; even the Turks who made it couldn’t get it.

      When I was listening to all the most disreputable women in the opposition haranguing the Treasury Bench about this, I kept thinking, why don’t you ever kick up like this about foreign aid?

  38. rose
    December 6, 2022

    And of course one of these multinational organizations which used to spend our money freely and without our really controlling where it went, was the EU. Sir John might ask how much we are saving in our foreign aid budget now that we don’t have to send all that money to the EU for the purposes of counteracting the effects of its protectionist policies on countries it shuts out of trade.

  39. Mark Thomas
    December 6, 2022

    Trade not aid.

  40. Francesca Skinner
    December 6, 2022

    It seems we have a never ending pot of money to give away to any country we feel deserves it. regardless of whether they are Corrupt , Space programmes, or Nuclear weapons. wouldn’t It be nice if for once those we elected to run this country for its citizens actually did just that and may be it is about time the British taxpayer had a say in how our money is spent as it seems those in power are no longer capable of fiscal responsibility.

  41. Iain gill
    December 6, 2022

    I see several types of antibiotics are completely out of stock in the UK after a few days of strep A illness running wild.

    How on earth are the people running the UK drugs stock in the NHS allowed to get away with such poor performance.
    Is this really the best we can do?
    Zero national resilience to simple stuff.
    No doubt nobody will get sacked.

  42. margaret
    December 7, 2022

    Perhaps you could do some agency shifts for the government John

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