Ireland among best at targeting overseas aid
In contrast to the EU, which has been gripped by a collective crisis for four years, Africa is booming, particularly in the poorest sub-Saharan parts where economies are growing at a rate of 4 per cent to 7 per cent a year.
The average at present is 5.5 per cent per year.
Countries which have been synonymous with famine, such as Ethiopia, have registered 10 per cent annual growth for the last decade. Ghana has graduated to being a middle-income country.
The growth in Africa has been attributed to debt cancellation in the 2000s, better targeted aid, mobile phone technology and a commodities boom.
“We’re hoping that countries that use their natural resources will not need our aid in 10 to 15 years’ time,” Mr Drummond said.
‘perfectly legal’ Bono’s tax arrangements defended
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Jamie Drummond of the anti-poverty campaign, One, has defended U2 singer Bono’s tax arrangements, saying they are “perfectly legal”.
Condemnation by the British prime minister David Cameron of comedian Jimmy Carr’s tax arrangements has increased public scrutiny over how wealthy people use shelters to avoid paying tax.
U2 faced severe criticism and charges of hypocrisy in 2006 when they moved part of their business arrangements to the Netherlands to avoid paying tax on royalties in Ireland following the cap which was put on the artists’ exemption scheme in Ireland in late 2005.
The criticism has been particularly focused on Bono, who has been a vocal advocate for developed countries to increase their official development assistance to poorer countries.
In addition, Bob Geldof, another advocate for the One campaign, has been criticised for availing of non-domiciled tax status in the UK to avoid paying large sums on overseas earnings.
Mr Drummond said both men were “not engaged in tax avoidance as I understand it. They are engaged in perfectly legal matters.”
He maintained the tax issues that are relevant in terms of development policy are to ensure African countries generate more tax revenue themselves to invest in their economies.
“It is a completely different set of issues from anything to do with Bob or Bono. It is a non-relevant issue from the point of view of anybody working in development.”
He said countries’ tax arrangements were a matter for the countries themselves and ultimately U2’s tax affairs were a matter for the band’s management.
Mr Drummond said he has travelled regularly in Africa with Bono. “All I can say is that I know Bono very well, and the amount of work, time and sweat equity and the money he spends on this is phenomenal.”