Wednesday, 25 May 2005

Brown and European Union 'aid'

Gordon Brown has praised an EU initiative toa provide greater aid to Third World countries. The extra aid will be created after 2010.

Mr Brown said: "The EU have decided that they will double aid. We are raising an extra $40bn by doing that, and if all the richest countries that are meeting in Gleneagles in a few weeks' time can agree on a package, that will mean debt relief, aid, trade justice. I praise the European countries, all 25 of them, which deserve support from the rest of the world."

I didn't know all 25 members could have financially afforded to concur with such a move. The countries that joined in 2004 aren't that rich in the grand scheme (their GDP per capita's are significantly below the earlier 15 members).

This may be a noble goal, but governments shouldn't provide foreign aid. This should be left to private citizens and the private sector to provide. If anything, permitting the Third World to trade freely with the abolition of tariffs and non-tariff barriers would help poorer countries to combat poverty.