Friday, 29 June 2012

In Support of Aid

The STUC is supporting Mark Hendrick’s Private Members Bill to legislate for the commitment to spend 0.7% of UK Gross National Income on international development. The second reading of his Bill will take place on Friday 13 July in Westminster.

This Bill is being introduced by a Labour MP despite a pledge in the Coalition Agreement to introduce legislation within the first session of this Parliament. The Coalition now only pledges to legislate by 2015 – which suggests that the pledge is in the process of being dropped, as quietly as the Government can manage.

The Government, however, still maintains that they will reach the 0.7% target in the next financial year, even though this requires increasing the aid budget by a third in a single year.

The STUC is therefore calling on trade unionists and those with an interest in anti-poverty work to back Mark Hendrick’s Private Members Bill which puts this spending commitment on a legislative footing.

We are asking you to contact your MP and encourage them to attend the debate on the 13 July and support the Bill. Contact details for your MP can be found at by simply putting in your postcode.

In times of economic hardship it is easy to forget our wider responsibilities in the world. But the UK has a duty to support developing nations and a key part of this is the 0.7% spending commitment.

This pledge was in all three major Westminster parties’ manifestos, so it is right that we should hold them to it. But it’s also about making sure that governments in the global south know the level of aid that they can rely on over years to come, which enables them to plan ahead and make the most of the money that we provide.

Helen Martin - STUC