give with one hand and take away with the other

give with one hand and take away with the other

If someone gives with one hand and takes away with the other, they help someone in one way, but also do something which has the opposite effect. Africa stays poor. One reason is that the rich world gives with one hand and it takes away with the other. Although my parents were very supportive, in a way they gave with one hand and took away with the other, because I never really learned what it was to be independent.
See also: and, away, give, hand, one, other, take