Chris Blattman

This is why politicians fear cash transfer programs


The title of the UK Daily Mail article is “Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse… YOUR cash is doled out in envelopes and on ATM cards loaded with money.”

Standing in line, Pakistani families wait at a cashpoint used to withdraw money on cards loaded with funds from British taxpayers.
More than £1billion of our foreign aid budget has been given away in cash over the past five years, it can be revealed today.
Despite warnings of fraud, officials have quietly quadrupled expenditure on cash and debit cards that recipients can spend at will.
The budget has soared from £53million in 2005 to an annual average of £219million in the period 2011-15. MPs last night compared the foreign cash handouts to ‘exporting the dole’.

This is essentially a response to the UK aid agency leading the move to cash transfers in the name of efficiency and effectiveness. And arguably less corrupt that other aid programs.

6 Responses

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  2. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. No argument about efficiency or effectiveness is going to work – under current press assault, all aid is bad aid. And if aid funds were redirected to domestic welfare services, the same newspapers would be complaining about ‘scroungers’ and overpaid bureaucrats and agencies here.

  3. If politicians are too weak to fight for good policy because they’re scared of headlines in trashy partisan tabloids, they’re not the people we should be electing in the first place.

  4. The Daily Mail isn’t exactly the most fact based newspaper, is it? Didn’t they call traitors the judges who ruled that Article 50 cannot be triggered without a vote in parliament? When Brexit was precisely about British laws being decided upon by the British parliament, and not EU.

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