Spend aid money on aid

The Herald report:

Foreign Affairs Minister has been accused of acting vindictively towards agencies which criticised his changes to the direction of the aid programme earlier this year.

Labour’s associate foreign affairs spokesman, , said funding had been cut to the Council for International Development (), an umbrella organisation of aid groups, by $650,000 over the next two years.

However, Mr McCully’s spokesman said Mr Twyford was not correct. No final decisions about the funding had been taken and the figures quoted were indicative at this stage.

I’d ask why the Government is funding the CID at all? Shouldn’t it be funded by its 94 members?

One would think that Labour would support spending overseas aid money on well overseas aid, rather than lobby groups in Wellington.

Mr Twyford said he expected the minister to say that he wanted to spend the money overseas instead of in New Zealand.

“The funding of CID is a tiny fraction of the $32 million NZAID spends each year on aid delivered by NGOs.

“It builds the professional and administrative capacity of the NGOs so they can be more accountable for taxpayer funds.”

The cuts threatened to undermine the NGOs’ efforts to be more effective and accountable, Mr Twyford said.

Don’t you love the double speak here. Twyford (the parliamentary spokesperson for aid NGOs) claims that the taxpayer has to pour money into the CID so that NGOs are more effective. In my experience the removal of taxpayer subsidies is what causes NGOs to be more efficient.

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