Christian Aid sure is a funny organisation

In their new report on tax and inequality in Africa they say this:

In Kenya’s case, this move is aggravated by the implementation of the new money transfer tax, an additional tax burden for the poor.

This is, of course, the same Christian Aid which insists there should be a financial transaction tax here in the EU which would be an additional tax burden for the poor.

Consistency, this is nothing like it.

11 thoughts on “Christian Aid sure is a funny organisation”

  1. So Much for Subtlety

    Hurts rich White people = good
    Hurts terrorists who want to kill White people = bad.

    It really is as simple as that in Guardianland.

  2. The fundamental headline assertion is that Sub-Saharan African growth has been achieved by impoverishing the poor. This is not you will note just an argument that growth is spread too unevenly; the claim is that the poor are becoming poorer as the – relatively – rich get richer.

    And yet, as we move on, the specific claims do instead seem to be based upon arguments about sharing the bounty, the proceeds of growth.

    Now, Ritchie claims to have contributed to the report and so we shouldn’t expect them to approach their subject too…candidly, should we. However, as we are talking about the well-being of the poorest people in the World’s poorest region, I think we should be alert to such a lack of candour, such dissembling.

    A few days ago I decided not to comment on Ritchie’s blog again; I’d had my fun. However, I will read the report and if I do feel Christian Aid (and Mr Murphy) are engaged in an approach that I as a practicing Christian I don’t believe is acceptable, then I may feel it my duty to challenge that report. I also believe that those who would wish to have an impact on public opinion, to enter public life, to be held accountable for their actions and their words. I don’t have my own blog, but I am prepared to Speak Truth to Power.

  3. TimothyA


    You should go on his blog and point that out… you neoliberal sophist in the pay of big multinationals and you like to see poor people starve.

  4. Look, Christian Aid, Action Aid, Oxfam, Cafod, War On Want: clowns all. The sort of clowns who ask Richard Murphy to write reports for them. They have no analysis to explain Africa’s growth, no understanding of the role of inward investment and so nothing to contribute. Let them run their little programmes as Africa grows around them.

    There is an issue for African states to address though on Tax Base. Every country needs one. Africa is very largely resource-rich. Africa has the capacity to secure the tax income its governments need. There is indeed an issue of sorts with multinationals setting up avoidance schemes for its employees, engaging in thin-capitalisation of its investments. There does need to be an understanding reached across the continent of what African society legitimately requires of investors. But Africa is able to sort this. I repeat, there is no place for the Western charities, who add nothing to Africa and could only serve to abscure or twist a proper economic analysis.

  5. I am a bit lost here, If you are poor it means that you have fuck-all and live from hand to mouth. How can you get poorer than that? Only by stealing a loaf and having your hand chopped-off by the local Sharia court?

    It is only in electricity (and accounting) where negative numbers mean something, but in practical terms you cannot get anything from people that have fuck-all.

  6. If you want to help the poor people of Africa help stop their fucking scummy govts from getting a “tax base”. Don’t send any more charity to prop up said govts either.

  7. Isn’t the challenge for the 3rd world’s governments mainly dealing with corruption while sorting the tax base?

    A situation where policemen and local officials are funded by sensibly raised taxes, rather than whatever bribes they can extort, would do wonders for growth in lots of really poor countries – however just expanding the tax base alone so the president and his mates can have bigger and better private jets will be seriously counter productive.

    How you drive out deeply ingrained corruption is of course one of the most difficult questions of our age – I wonder if some of the answer is investment by large multi-national firms, who have enough cash and clought to insist on not paying bribes.

  8. It may simply be the case that Christian Aid accept what they are told about the FTT, but know what the impact on people of the money transfer tax would be. Just haven’t made the connection.

  9. Kenya’s “money transfer tax” is actually a tax on the fees charged for transferring money, not on the transfer itself. I suppose the closest UK equivalent would be a tax on credit or debit card fees.

    Whatever the merits of such a tax, it’s not at all like a financial transaction tax.

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