How Very Generous of Us June 14, 2011 12:42 AMSubscribe
"Using pejorative terms like "handouts" and "doling out", some parts of the media are mounting a campaign to suggest Britain should be embarrassed by our level of aid giving. But the idea that aid is generous is absurd. Some families, inspired by religious tradition, think it is appropriate to give 10% of what they have to charity, £10 in every £100 of earnings. In 2010, the UK gave not £10, not £1, but 56p ($0.91) in overseas aid for every £100 ($163) we earned as a country. On average, since 1990 we have given even less, 35p ($0.57)." [Giving aid to poor countries is hardly a great act of generosity] "If we add in personal contributions to charities (ie: aid that doesn't come through the government), as the Spectator (UK magazine) argues quite convincingly that we should, 2010 saw 80p ($1.30) in every £100 given to poorer countries. If I gave 80p in every £100 I earned to help people less fortunate than me, who would call me generous? I don't think many people in this country have that attitude. I am quite embarrassed that newspapers in my country think this level of giving is generous. What would make them happy? 40p ($0.65) in every £100? 30p ($0.49)? How stingy do we have to be before their bizarre anti-solidarity is satisfied?"