Despite the economic crisis, I hope & believe that the average British citizen does not begrudge the percentage of his or her tax money that goes to international development, which of course is the PC way of saying Aid. The Dept for International Development's own mission statement goes to great lengths to show how responsibly the British government distributes British taxpayers money to help the poorest people of this world, stating:
we (have) strengthened our criteria for providing aid directly to governments of developing countries. This strengthened approach means we only provide aid directly to governments once we are satisfied, based on robust assessments that: Firstly, they share our own commitment to these four partnership principles:
- poverty reduction and the Millennium Development Goals
- respecting human rights (from political freedoms, to the rights of minorities including Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgender (LBGT) and religious minorities) and other international obligations
- improving public financial management, promoting good governance and tranparency and fighting corruption
- being more accountable to their citizens.
Secondly, that providing aid directly to the government represents the best way of delivering results and value for money compared to other options for spending aid.
Hard to argue with those criteria, but it does beg the question of how the British government justifies continuing to pay vast amounts of money to the Palestinian Authority, which glorifies terrorism, denies human rights, attacks press freedoms and suffers from a horrendous corruption problem.
The Department for International Development spends around £80 million a year in the Palestinian Territories, of which around £30 million goes to the general budget. That money is then given to prisoners. By prisoners, we're talking about convicted terrorists held in Israeli prisons. The longer they are interred the more money the terrorists receive, which means the worse the crimes committed by them, the more British taxpayers money they get! These terrorists receive between £500 - £2000 per month, far above the average wage that the Palestinian Authority pays the rest of its employees. To make matters worse, despite the vast amount of aid the Palestinian Authority receives from the US, UK and EU, it actually has failed to pay its 200,000 public-sector workers for the best part of the past 16 months. However, the PA always manages to pay its terrorists in Israeli prison on time, and far more generously than it pays its other employees.
This has led to questions in the UK parliament: Alan Duncan MP, International Development Minister, has written to MP Robert Halfon, who had questioned the UK’s role in funding these prisoners. He said: ‘The PA operates two social assistance programmes to provide welfare payments to households who have lost their main breadwinner.
‘I hope you will also agree that dependent spouses or children should not be held responsible for the crimes of family members, or forced to live in poverty as a consequence.’
It's disingenuous for Mr. Duncan to describe paying terror prisoners as "social assistance" and "welfare", because that is not the terminology that the Palestinian Authority itself uses: in PA law this payment is Ratib - salary, and their law never mentions "social assistance" or "welfare.". And Mr Duncan is either misinformed or flat out lying, when he says the payments are given to the prisoner's "households", because under PA law, the money is given directly to these terrorist prisoners themselves, so there is no guarantee that this "welfare" will ever reach the families. Considering the kind of people we are talking about, it is not unreasonable to believe that sizeable contributions, paid in part by British taxpayers, are going to the terrorists' favorite causes!
Raheem Kassam, director of communications for the Henry Jackson Society, a foreign affairs think-tank in London, was quoted by the Daily Mail recently as saying: 'Incitement in the Palestinian territories is a crucial issue when considering the potential for peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.
'That Palestinian prisoners are being supported by UK taxpayer money is an absolute scandal that must be stopped.'
If the Palestinians want to reward terrorists, and pay them wages while other PA employees do not get paid on time, that is their right, and If they want to spend their limited budget on naming schools, town squares and streets after terrorist "martyrs" that too is their decision to make, but the taxpayers of Britain should not be paying them to do it!