• Friday, December 02, 2022

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Labour to reinstate Britain’s commitment to spend 0.7% of income on aid

Labour government would pass a law to ensure UK aid spending helps tackle climate change.

Preet Kaur Gill MP

By: Mohnish Singh

In a speech to Labour’s annual conference in Liverpool, shadow international aid secretary Preet Preet Gill confirmed the party’s commitment to restore the requirement for 0.7 per cent of national income to go to aid, after it was slashed to 0.5 per cent by Boris Johnson.

“The world faces energy, debt and food crises. The climate emergency wreaks havoc, from drought in East Africa to floods in Pakistan. 100 million people are now displaced around the world. 50 million people are on the brink of famine.”

“But Conference, when times are tough, that is exactly when we stand up to be counted. The last Labour government changed lives at home, from Sure Start to the minimum wage. But we also changed lives overseas: creating the world-class Department for International Development; and, at Gleneagles, cancelling hundreds of millions of pounds of unjust debt.”

“But Conference, twelve years of Tory rule has taken its toll: DFID shut down; aid repurposed and diverted away from tackling poverty; our international reputation in tatters. And in the middle of a global pandemic, they carried out the cruellest cuts imaginable to life-saving aid programmes.”

“It now falls to Labour to undo that damage and earn back the trust of Britain’s partners. Keir (Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer) was absolutely right when he called the closure of DFID “totally misguided” and “wrongheaded”, and his commitment to international development speaks to who he is.”

“So, just as 25 years ago, DFID was created to tackle the global challenges we faced, a Labour government will put in place a new model with the independence needed to meet the challenges of the 21st century: one that recognises the link between development and climate. Its mission will be to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals.”

“We will reinstate Britain’s commitment to spend 0.7% of income on aid.”

“And we will deliver a distinct development programme that brings value for money and ends the government’s wasteful and transactional approach.”

“The climate emergency is this century’s biggest threat to humanity. That is why I am also announcing today that Labour will legislate to make sure that, as a priority, Britain’s aid budget helps address climate change.”

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