Rule change paves way for more aid to BOTs

| 01/11/2018 | 28 Comments
Cayman News Service

Damage on Grand Cayman caused by Hurricane Ivan in 2004

(CNS): The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has agreed to a rule change that allows more aid to go to wealthier countries in the event of disasters, which means Britain could in future offer more financial support to its overseas territories, including Cayman, in the wake of a hurricane. The news was revealed by the BBC on Thursday, and Governor Martyn Roper confirmed the change at his first press conference here. Last year some of the territories hit badly by hurricanes missed out on financial help from Britain because their GDPs are too high.

The Cayman Islands also had to finance its own rebuilding after both Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and Hurricane Paloma in 2008 for the same reason.

But the UK has been pressuring the OECD to a new mechanism for overseas aid that would put the territories on an official list of poorer countries, making them eligible for official development assistance (ODA) in the event of a disaster.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt told the BBC the “significant rule change” was “a major victory” for the UK, which now had “more options in how it can help a nation recover and become more resilient to shocks”.

It is understood that it will apply to long-term reconstruction aid only, not short-term humanitarian relief.

“The British public are strong supporters of providing help in the wake of disasters, including long-term reconstruction,” Mordaunt said. “They want to help people, especially when they are from nations we have close ties to. Not being able to pay for that help from the aid budget, because a nation’s economy was doing well before a hurricane, earthquake or other disaster hit, was illogical and had to change.”

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Comments (28)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why should the UK give money to tax havens that don’t make provision for storm costs from domestic taxation? These places are not deserving.9

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  2. Ron Ebanks says:

    Anonymous 5 :54 am , what the UK could do with £14 b relief funds , is match all of BOT’s relief funds dollar for £ . But I don’t know who should control the money , because I just remembered that pirate week still exist .

  3. Anonymous says:

    We don’t need it.
    We have HMCI to protect us

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Pathetic and unnecessary. These places are rich enough to borrow funds or heaven forbid keep a sinking fund from taxation to cover such costs. Why should UK taxpayers fund tax havens?

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Somebody needs to explain why UK can’t spend its foreign aid wherever it wants. This OECD control seems very bizarre.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The UK can spend the money wherever it wants, it just can’t class it as foreign aid unless it complies with internationally agreed rules on what constitutes “foreign aid”. The result is that it can’t, legally, come out of the aid budget and thus has to be taken from other departmental budgets (which themselves only got the money allocated to them, because it was going to be spent on something that was needed). So, in order to find money at short notice, those other budgets have to be raided for cash, meaning that other spending has to be deferred or cancelled, which has a direct effect on UK taxpayers. It may seem ridiculous, but if you are an advocate for a “rules-based international order” as the UK is, then you really need to be seen to be complying with those rules yourself.

      • Anonymous says:

        So why does anyone care whether the OECD regards it as foreign aid or not? Are they going to sue or use harsh language? Will there be fines? Your answer, which I appreciate, agrees exactly with the BBC report but seems to beg the question. Are we to understand that the UK can only supply foreign aid from its foreign aid budget in such amounts and to such places as the OECD directs? Can it not reorder its budget? It actually sounds as if the donors have been captured by a club of the usual recipients who are jealous of their share of the annual largess.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Whereas this is good news because high GDP in a small country is ‘usually’ skewed by a high density of wealth that is concentrated into a small proportion of people, let’s not forget that aid is never free. It always comes with conditions!

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Here we go again. The Cayman ‘lets have the cake and eat it too’ syndrome. Shouting about more self government, spouting all the anti British verbiage but still feeling entitled to tap into the Britiah. Foreign aid pot…..even though they have never and will never contribute one cent to that pot.

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    • Ron Ebanks says:

      Anonymous 11: 25 pm & CB4 , you both have very valid points . But why aren’t the CI government not helping to prepare the Islands for the next hurricane relief funds ? There are so many ways that the government’s of the Islands could be building their own relief funds , that when the time comes they wouldn’t need MOTHER . DO we see the free handout mentality of the government’s , just expect MOTHER to pay for everything because we’re living under her roof . Just imagine if the government took 1% of all the government’s quarterly earnings/revenue and put into that relief fund , probably won’t need MOTHER when disaster hits .

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    • Anonymous says:

      Uncomfortable truth

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  8. CB4 says:

    This is really great news because most of the people who bring the GDP average up so high that we are considered “rich” are the very same ones who are not around nor willing to help the island recover physically or financially.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Great, that only took a year! Thank our lucky stars we aren’t in BVI, Nevis or other Irma-ravaged area waiting for relief.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yup – the OECD seems to have taken it’s time to move on what is really a simple issue. Microstates may be “wealthy”, but they are extremely vulnerable to natural disaster (and the consequences are far more damaging when they occur) so this decision should have been taken many years ago.

      The UK can now use some of the £14b put aside for aid, and not raid other budgets (usually the over-burdened defence budget) or the national contingency fund (which is only really there to provide temporary cash-flow for unforseen expenditure and expects the money to be re-paid later).

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      • Anonymous says:

        There is not £14bn set aside for aid, stop drinking the right wing nationalist Koolaid. The figure is about £7bn.

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        • Anonymous says:

          A legally mandated 0.7% of GDP. UK GDP is currently a smidgeon under £2 trillion. Do the maths. Here’s a clue – the answer doesn’t start with a “7”.

          The figure is usually given as £13.9b, if you are going to be pedantic.

          And there’s nothing right-wing about me, pal

          • Anonymous says:

            You are talking crap. Of that budget most of it goes to the UKs subscriptions to international bodies. The remainder is the aid budget which does start with a 7. And I am not your “pal”.

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            • Anonymous says:

              Oh dear, wrong again! 64% is spent directly with recipient countries via bilateral aid agreements. 36% goes as aid via the EU (£1b – re-badged as EU Aid), UN and International non-governmental bodies (Oxfam, for instance) – not as “subscriptions” to those bodies. Medecins Sans Frontiers used to be a recipient, for instance, though they have now declined EU and Member State’s donations in protest at the EU’s policies regarding migrants.

              In contrast, the UK’s UN subscription is around £100m a year.

              No matter how you try to calculate it, neither 36% of £13.9b nor 64% of £13.9b start with a “7”.

              On top of that, private charitable donations were c. 9.5b last year, which the UK government tops up by 25% for those who fill out the tax reclaim form.

              Oh – and you are right, I’m not your “pal”, pal.

        • Anonymous says:

          Untrue. 0.7% of GNI or 13.4bn as of 2016. Funnily enough it was the ‘right wing’ Tories who hit the target for the first time. No coolaid needed…

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