In response to Janice Davis: To stop foreign aid going to criminals, stop foreign aid, James Chilton wrote:
Why are we giving £14, let alone £14billion, in ‘foreign aid’? The government adds this huge sum to the public borrowing requirement. In other words, we’re borrowing money to chuck it away. Giving charity is a voluntary activity. I did not appoint the government as my ‘executor’ in this matter.
As always seems to be the case, wise words from Margaret Thatcher still ring true:
From The Downing Street Years: ‘The intractable problems of Third World poverty, hunger and debt would not be solved by misdirected international intervention, but rather by liberating enterprise, promoting trade – and defeating socialism in all its forms.
‘Free trade provided a means not only for poorer countries to earn foreign currency and increase their people’s standards of living. It was also a force for peace, freedom and political decentralization: peace, because economic links between nations reinforce mutual understanding with mutual interest; freedom, because trade between individuals bypasses the apparatus of the state and disperses power to customers not planners; political decentralization, because the size of the political unit is not dictated by the size of the market and vice versa.’
In short: trade not aid is the best way to improve the lives of those in less wealthy countries.