Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Aid, Schmaid... But freely given charity - now you are talking!

It is wrong to tax people to finance foreign aid - people are already free to give should they so wish.

I was having a look at the latest figures I could find for charitable giving and found this:-
https://www.cafonline.org/about-us/publications/2015-publications/uk-giving-2014.aspx

In 2014...

70% of UK adults gave money at least once during the year. 44% gave money to charity in an average month. In this period 55% of donations were of cash, 30% direct debit, 15% online and 11% by 'text'.

A total of £10.6 billion was freely given in this way.

In 2014, the UK government ring fenced £12 billion of our taxes for foreign aid (equivalent to the 0.7% of UK GNI (Gross National Income)) (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31928078).

As you can see these two figures are not hugely out of line - it shows that UK charities are quite capable of handling these sums of money - and to do so without the coercion the state uses to collect taxes to throw around in this way.

Should the government want to be in control of such money, the state could set up its own charity for aid - allowing taxpayers to choose whether (or how much) they support the governments programme as against a genuine charity, or even giving directly to the people they may seek to help.

It is wrong to tax people to finance foreign aid - people are already free to give should they so wish.

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