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Aid Programme is Flawed

Aid Programme is Flawed

Labour's announcement today that it will spend an extra $20m on aid for "poor countries" flies in the face of evidence that such aid has harmed our neighbours in the Pacific, ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader Ken Shirley said today.

"Aid Minister Marian Hobbs has not only patronised Pacific nations whom she calls "poor countries", but she has guaranteed that economic disequilibrium will continue in those nations.

"Ms Hobbs proudly leaked the Budget news today that total New Zealand expenditure in the Pacific will reach more than $100 million dollars.

"Labour's generosity with taxpayer cash is harmful. Research released just this week by the Australian Centre for Independent Studies warned that "because aid flows are not earned income, they create economic `rents' that distort economies", and "understanding that aid can have negative effects is essential to assisting the Pacific to growth and development".

"On my recent trip to Pacific Islands, I saw examples of our `aid' money being spent on politically-correct projects, exclusively funding 'women's' initiatives.

"Aid should only be spent on mutually agreed development projects. Programmes should be monitored. Funds should only be made available when targets are met and audits completed. Continuing to foster dependency will help nobody in the long run," Mr Shirley said.

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