Where Does Our Foreign Affairs Money Go?

Hot on the heels of my earlier post on the UN’s nuclear weapons ‘ban’, a lot of people have asked me how much money Australia hands over to organisations like the UN.

It’s a question I’m regularly asked and very understandable: because once you see just how much time is wasted at the UN, it’s only natural to wonder how much of your taxes go into it and other similar organisations.

Those who have read TMR’s 2017-18 federal budget analysis will know that:

  • $5.7 billion is scheduled to be spent on foreign affairs for the 2017-18 financial year.
  • $6.7 billion was spent on foreign affairs in 2016-17 – which was about $600 million over budget and about $1.2 billion more than was spent in 2015-16:

Speaking of the foreign aid budget, Bishop was ‘only’ supposed to spend $6.09 billion in 2016-17 (see table 4) – an increase of 11.3% on the previous year’s spend of $5.47 billion. Instead, she ended up spending $6.69 billion – an increase of 22.3% on the previous year’s spend (see page 6-51). Why has nobody asked about this? Where did the money go? What benefit did we get?

  • Most of the foreign affairs budget is spent on ‘foreign aid’ – about $3.4 billion is scheduled to be spent in 2017-18, with about $4.3 billion having been spent in 2016-17.

So, once you take out foreign aid, where does the rest go?

Well, if you go here and scroll down to table 4.1, you’ll see a further breakdown this year’s foreign aid budget, which includes:

  • $466 million paid to ‘international organisations’; and
  • $1.09 billion for ‘diplomacy’ which includes ‘international climate change engagement’.

Untitled

If anyone has a further breakdown of these figures from an equally reliable source, then please let me know and I’ll put it up for everyone to see.

This entry was posted in Politics, Shut it down. Fire them all. and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Where Does Our Foreign Affairs Money Go?

  1. rickw

    Why is there any requirement for foreign aid?

    A countries situation is the sum of its culture.

    Do something to improve a shithole and the factors that cause the shitholiness soon converge to destroy the improvement.

    There is no bigger waste of taxes than aid.

    (Sitting in 3rd world to 1st world Singapore that received how much aid?)

  2. .

    It should be zero – Peter Bauer conclusively showed that foreign aid simply does not work and generally hurts those it is intended to help – whilst enriching dictators and rich white westerners (aid officials etc).

  3. max

    Foreign aid doesn’t help poor people; it helps foreign elites and US corporations who obtain the contracts doled out by those foreign elites. Everyone in Washington knows this, but the same lofty rhetoric is used over and over to sell foreign aid programs. Corporate welfare is bad enough, but corporate welfare in the guise of helping poor foreigners is indecent.

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2005/11/ron-paul/the-evil-of-foreign-aid/

    Foreign aid, Ron Paul likes to point out, consists of stealing money from poor people in the United States and lavishing it on politically-connected wealthy elites abroad. It is one of the Empire’s most important instruments of international social engineering.

    “So what you’re telling me is that we have the choice of either bribing them, or bombing them,”

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2012/09/william-norman-grigg/foreign-aid-is-a-tool-of-us-imperialism/

  4. .

    In that line, a great article from Mises.org

    https://mises.org/library/foreign-aid-disaster-making

    The late Peter Bauer (Lord Bauer) devoted his entire career to studying the law of unintended consequences as it applied to foreign aid, and many of his conclusions are summarized in his 1991 book, The Development Frontier.

    First of all, notes Bauer, foreign aid is not “aid” but a transfer or subsidy. And it is typically not a transfer to the poor and needy but to governments. Thus, the predominant effect of “foreign aid” has always been to enlarge the size and scope of the state, which always ends up impairing prosperity and diminishing the liberty of the people. Worse yet, it leads to the centralization of governmental power, since the transfers are always to the recipient country’s central government.

    Like every other government handout program, foreign aid programs rely on a series of myths concocted by a statist intellectual class. The most prominent among these myths is that economic development in “undeveloped” countries depends on foreign aid. Not true. As Bauer wrote: “Economic achievement depends on personal, cultural, social, and political factors . . . and the policies of . . . rulers. . . . It diminishes the people of the Third World to suggest that . . . unlike the people of the West they cannot achieve it without subsidies” (p. 42).

    This “vicious circle of poverty” theory was championed for decades by Paul Samuelson, who argued that poor countries needed capital subsidies to develop, for they had no resources to spare with which to invest in capital. But, as Bauer correctly points out, “This hypothesis is refuted by every individual family, group, community, or country that has emerged from poverty without subsidies . . . . Indeed, if the hypotheses were valid, the world would still be in the Old Stone Age” (p. 43).

  5. procrustes

    Marcus

    The table you are looking at covers expenses under the foreign affairs and economic aid sub‑function – it includes relevant bits of other departments (eg AFP’s overseas operations).

    Notwithstanding dot, max and rickw’s sage views on how much aid we provide, try looking at DFAT’s website – portfolio budget papers here and aid papers here – see pp7-8 of this (pdf).

    Hope this helps

  6. Hydra

    Why is the government providing finance and insurance services for Australian exporters and investors?

  7. struth

    Foreign aid is no different than funding our aboriginal parasitic bueaucracy.
    Look what that achieves for the actual people it only pretends to help.
    Aweful lot of indigenous funding going to buy homes on the golf course estate for white CLP and NLC type bureaucrats.
    Same theory different group.
    Where does it end?
    When does it end?

  8. Mark M

    Vanuatu receives UN money to get ready to receive more UN money!

    “Meanwhile in the Pacific, $296,000 went to Vanuatu for “readiness support”, essentially a programme that allows the country to develop its capacity to accept full-scale climate assistance in the future.”

    After a barrage of criticism, the UN’s primary climate fund has released $5.2m to a handful of projects

    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2017/06/30/cash-begins-trickling-green-climate-fund/

    Meanwhile …

    Strapped UN health agency spends big on travel

    The World Health Organization routinely spends about $200 million a year on travel — far more than what it doles out to fight some of the biggest problems in public health including AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria, according to internal documents obtained by The Associated Press.

    As the cash-strapped U.N. health agency pleads for more money to fund its responses to health crises worldwide …

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/ap-exclusive-strapped-un-health-agency-spends-big-093315092.html

  9. Peter O'Brien

    I would like to know how much foreign aid is in the form of ‘hard cash’ transfers, how much is equipment or infrastructure, how much is on-the-ground services (i.e. other than wages for permanent bureaucrats) and how much is transport. Does anyone have this type of information?

  10. A Lurker

    Every time I hear about foreign aid to some other country, I can’t help but thinking back to Europe and Britain.

    Our ancestors suffered horrendous diseases and plagues, crop losses and famines, tyrants, wars, invasions, feudalism, climatic changes and any number of natural disasters that would have wiped out or put a sizable dent in populations both small and large.

    Our ancestors endured all of the above and still managed to create some of the greatest and enduring Civilizations on this planet – and all without a benevolent foreign power possessing untold wealth, food, compassion and technology coming in to assist.

    Sometimes I think that foreign aid should be completely stopped, and these perpetually struggling countries given a dose of ‘tough love’ and forced to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps – just as our ancestors were forced to do.

  11. Awake

    How true is it that whatever it is they pass in the UN is non-binding anyway on the signatories?

  12. Awake

    How true is it that whatever it is they pass in the UN is non-binding anyway ?

  13. Rabz

    Where Does Our Foreign Affairs Money Go?

    To genocidal third world kleptocrats* and monstrous globalist goat rodeos such as the UN.

    *e.g. the Clinton Crime Foundation™

    OK, Marcus, I’ll now read your piece.

  14. Awake

    Now, I found out that leaving comments on here is device sensitive. If I post on IPad which I used for my first posts they show up.
    Never happened to me in other blog site.

  15. Rabz

    Sometimes I think that foreign aid should be completely stopped

    I never stop thinking that. While our government debt is a mere half a trillion dollars, not a cent should be gifted to the ingrates identified above.

  16. Rabz

    Foreign aid doesn’t help poor people; it helps foreign elites and US corporations who obtain the contracts doled out by those foreign elites

    Foreign aid makes poor people in rich countries poorer and rich people in poor countries richer.

  17. Diogenes

    I am wondering why the projected “one off” 1 billion increase in 2019-20 ?

    What is coming that we don’t know about ?

  18. Baldrick

    Australia pays $40 million in foreign aid to Palestine.

    Meanwhile, Palestine pays out stipends to Jihadis for attacking, assisting in attacking, or planning to attack Israel, via the Palestinian Authority Martyrs Fund.

  19. jupes

    Australia pays $40 million in foreign aid to Palestine.

    Australian taxes supporting terrorism.

    Disgraceful.

  20. J.H.

    Foreign aid does nothing but grow, develop and empower a global bureaucracy. A non elected elitist class.

    Now the Socialists will see nothing wrong with that. Authoritarian despots will see nothing wrong with that. The Parasitical political class will see great opportunity in that…… But for the rest of us it is a waste of money and the destruction of our free society. We are literally paying for our own enslavement.

    Australia should not pay one cent in foreign aid…… We should be engaging in Foreign trade….. Not aid.

  21. jupes

    Personal anecdote.

    I lived in PNG a few years ago and knew a contractor who was responsible for delivering school books for AusAID (as it then was). Nice bloke who was no doubt on a good wicket. Dunno how much his contract was worth but his apartment in Port Moresby cost taxpayers a lazy $5000 per week.

    Anyhoo around that time I found myself out in a remote village with an actual AusAID employee who was checking if the school books had been delivered. We visited the school which was a single room with a black board but no chairs or desks. Inside the trunk containing the his teaching materials, the teacher pulled out the books which the Australian taxpayers had generously donated. They were still wrapped in plastic.

    The AusAID dude was very happy with that and actually mentioned that it proved the program was working. Wow. So typical of the mindset of these pathetic tax-hoovering imbeciles.

  22. JC

    his apartment in Port Moresby cost taxpayers a lazy $5000 per week.

    In Morseby? This isn’t Cap Ferrat

  23. Roger

    I am wondering why the projected “one off” 1 billion increase in 2019-20 ? What is coming that we don’t know about ?

    All our embassies abroad are to be redecorated in a colour scheme chosen by Ms Bishop.

  24. Diogenes

    We are getting a new embassy in Bangkok. The B-i-L was safety manger for it. Its years late and waaaaaaaay over budget . Very fancy curvey design – with a 7 brick pattern (ie 7 bicks that need to be laid with precision in the correct sequence which has slowed the brickies down) , every window bespoke , yada yada yada,

  25. H B Bear

    Must be nice to preside over a billion dollar budget blowout without any apparent repercussions. I wonder what happened to the “responsible” part of “responsible government”.

  26. jupes

    In Morseby?

    Sure. Accomodation in Moresby is very exe for expats because they live inside guarded compounds.

    Nevertheless the contractors accommodation was certainly on the more expensive side and over double of what he could have found. I assume the accommodation was part of his contract. It’s only taxpayer’s money after all.

  27. Neilo

    re: Baldric and funding terrorists

    Well … terrorists are expensive to keep
    http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=21554

  28. .

    Hydra
    #2446684, posted on July 21, 2017 at 1:53 am
    Why is the government providing finance and insurance services for Australian exporters and investors?

    I know right? They’d be better off with someone from the private sector!

  29. notaluvvie

    Where does our money go? Mostly to banks in Dubai and other bolt holes, but also to terrorist organisations through the governments of the people it is supposed to be helping. Why does Pakistan, a nuclear power with an estimated 160 nuclear warheads and misogynist garbage dump to boot, receive any money? If it can afford a nuclear weapons program it doesn’t need our money.

  30. marcus

    Procrustes – thank you very much for this. I’ll start digging a little further into this over the next week… after I come back from my weekend trip down to Eagle Bay.

  31. .

    Diogenes
    #2446913, posted on July 21, 2017 at 11:02 am
    We are getting a new embassy in Bangkok. The B-i-L was safety manger for it. Its years late and waaaaaaaay over budget . Very fancy curvey design – with a 7 brick pattern (ie 7 bicks that need to be laid with precision in the correct sequence which has slowed the brickies down) , every window bespoke , yada yada yada,

    One job in Bangkok, makes the broke man prosper?

    The new one is aan architectural masterpiece, but do we need it?

    The current one looks fine.

    http://thailand.embassy.gov.au/bkok/AboutUs_building.html

    I note:

    Much of the artwork displayed in the Chancery is on loan from Artbank, a Commonwealth government program where over 8,300 artworks by some 2,500 Australian artists are rented out for display.

    You know what to do. Crack out the Rublev oil paints. So what if they’re 200 bucks for a tube of paint? The ROI is fantastic.

  32. .

    notaluvvie
    #2446947, posted on July 21, 2017 at 11:47 am
    Where does our money go? Mostly to banks in Dubai and other bolt holes, but also to terrorist organisations through the governments of the people it is supposed to be helping. Why does Pakistan, a nuclear power with an estimated 160 nuclear warheads and misogynist garbage dump to boot, receive any money? If it can afford a nuclear weapons program it doesn’t need our money.

    Please say this in Parliament, David, Cory, Pauline, Malcolm Roberts etc.

  33. kae

    Sorry, no time to read all this now, just about finished lunch.

    Is there a breakdown of aid, as in “in kind” and actual $$$$ aid? This would be useful in seeing what real money is spent on aid.

    If we are paying military and they are deployed to a natural disaster to assist, for example, this is “in kind” aid as the military are paid anyway and this experience is good for the members as a training exercise. Another example would be providing goods/supplies sourced in Australia (thus keeping money in Australia), to send to foreign countries as aid.

    However, if we are just shovelling money into foreign coffers this is not keeping control of what gets spent in Aus.

  34. Dr Fred Lenin

    Its good we are only borrowing $5.7 billion to give away instead of $6.7 billion ,sound economics from turdbull ,another fiscal conservative like that liar krudd.
    Aux guillotine les aristos socialiste ! you

  35. Cpt Seahawks

    Every time I see this kind of horror I can’t help thinking of our bleeding heart females who are selling us all out. And the “sensitive new age poofs” just tag along.
    Every day it becomes more clear that in their opinion, the welfare of every non western citizen is far more important than western civilians.
    And what happens when the cash runs out? Typically women leave the moment this happens. Where will they go this time?

  36. Grandma

    Well, how else will Julie Bishop get that job at the U.N.?

  37. Tony Thomas

    I made inquiries of DFAT on June 22 and got this back:
    UNCLASSIFIED

    Good morning,

    Apologies for the delay in getting this information to you.

    The following information is on background:

    For information on DFAT’s compulsory assessed contributions to the United Nations regular budget and peacekeeping, please see page 235 of the 2015-16 Annual Report. Other government departments also pay compulsory contributions directly to UN agencies.

    Please note the Department of Health provides Australia’s compulsory assessed contribution to WHO, and should be approached separately for this information.
    Information on DFAT’s voluntary core funding to UN development agencies, including the World Health Organization, can be found at our Australian Aid Budget Summary (page 8). The previous year’s statistical summaries also had a detailed breakdown of funding through UN agencies. Voluntary core funding to WHO for the previous three years is as follows:
    2016-17: $12.4m
    2015-16: $12.4m
    2014-15: $20.6m

    DFAT also provides project-specific earmarked funding to UN Development Funds and Programmes, including the World Health Organization, for activities in support of country, regional and global programs. Note that other Departments also provide project-specific funding.

    Kind regards,
    __________________________________
    Media Liaison Section
    Parliamentary and Media Branch
    Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

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