Watchdog is determined to extract Foreign Aid facts
The determination of the public spending watchdog the Taxpayers Union collective to extract from the government an explanation for its foreign aid donations to the Clinton fund has only increased with the dissolution of the Clinton Foundation when a final pledge of $5.5. million from New Zealand is still due.
Foreign aid remains a substantially unquestioned sector of public expenditure with the political class only differing on the extent of the budgetary increases.
Each year the proclamation is made by this non-productive sector that New Zealand’s aid expenditure is well below that of other nations which are said to be more conscious of their responsibilities.
In fact New Zealand’s annual aid contribution is generous in comparison with that of these nations being 0.27% of GNI.
Britain for example has only just met its 0.7 percent GNI target for the first time.
New Zealand’s 0.27 percent meanwhile remains a substantially more generous aid budget in terms of GNI than the budgets among other nations of the United States, Japan, Italy, or in Nordic terms, even Iceland.
The Clinton fund donations have something in common with the Taxpayers Union’s other bone of contention which it similarly refuses to let go of.
This is the Middle East stock handling and processing depot designed to offset the National government’s surprise decision, for Gulf importers, to veto licences for the export of live sheep to the Middle East.
In both these instances the public contributions via the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade might reasonably be considered by accounting standards to fall into the insurance category of expenditure.
The insurance being to ensure a favourable attitude to New Zealand in the event of the Clinton family re-occupying the White House, and in the instance of the Gulf states to ensure against a boycott of New Zealand exports.
Deliberately overlooked in New Zealand’s foreign aid expenditure is the matter of New Zealand having no foreign possessions in which to invest its aid.
For example a major Pacific recipient of British aid remains the Pitcairn Islands which are classified as a British overseas territory and which contain immense strategic value in terms of the sea area that the Pitcairn Islands command.
| From the MSCNewsWire reporters' desk | Wednesday 18 January 2017 |