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Continuing on my Blog postings of the last few days “Britain engulfed in Corruption” , I now wish to share with the reader-however briefly- the costs and consequences of corruption. I should also emphasise that when it comes to corruption, fraud and wrongdoings, the British experience is hardly unique...

As it has been noted, corruption is a burning moral and human rights issue, affecting the whole fabric of society and community. Corruption infringes the fundamental human rights to fair treatment, unbiased decision-making, and safe and secure civil and political status.

There are a number of definitions of corruption.

This Blog defines it as “the act by which ‘insiders’ profit at the expense of ‘outsiders’ ” (conveying the ideas of abuse of position, offending against relationships, and underhandedness). It may flourish both in overregulated and deregulated economies, under democracy or dictatorship. Following from this definition, examples of corrupt behaviour would include: (a) bribery, (b) extortion, (c) fraud, (d) embezzlement, (e) nepotism, (f) cronyism, (g) appropriation of public assets and property for private use, and (h) influence peddling.

There is a growing worldwide concern over corruption at the present time. Several factors are responsible for this. First, a consensus has now been reached that corruption is universal. It exists in all countries, both developed and developing, in the public and private sectors, and more. Second, allegations and charges of corruption now play a more central role in politics than at any other time. Governments have fallen, careers of world renowned public figures ruined, and reputations of well-respected organizations and business firms badly tarnished on account of it. Third, that corruption has a major economic consequence; destroying the possibility of creating prosperity and well-being for all.

Costs & Consequences of Corruption

According to the World Bank, “The consequences of corruption for economic and social development are detrimental. Corruption deters investment and hinders growth. It spurs inequality and erodes macroeconomic and fiscal stability. It reduces the impact of development assistance and provides an incentive to exploit natural resources, further depleting our environmental assets. It reduces the effectiveness of public administration and distorts public expenditure decisions, channelling urgently needed resources away from sectors such as health and education to corruption-prone sectors or personal enrichment. It erodes the rule of law and harms the reputation of and trust in the state. In short, it increases wealth for the few at the expense of society as a whole, leaving the poor suffering the harshest consequences.”

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