Aid is a poor answer to povertyby Ian Birrell / November 14, 2012 / Leave a comment
Published in December 2012 issue of Prospect Magazine
Should Britain give aid to India? For a hefty majority of people in this country, the answer is clear: it is absurd to keep handing our money to one of the world’s biggest economies. India is a fast-growing, middle-income nation rich enough to lavish money ($1.3bn by next year) on a space programme and to have its own aid agency with a budget worth $11.3bn over the next five years.
So India has become the prime battleground in the dispute over whether Britain should spend rising amounts on aid while enduring austerity at home. This booming nation remains the biggest recipient of bilateral development assistance. The row, which erupted yet again in October during a House of Lords debate, was fuelled by Pranab Mukherjee, now India’s president, who has dismissed foreign assistance as “peanuts.”