TUC backs Gordon Brown’s pledge to legislate for overseas aid
The Prime Minister has just announced a commitment to legislate to require British Governments to spend 0.7% of Gross National Income (the UN target) on overseas development assistance from 2013 onwards. This would raise the pledge from a manifesto commitment in 2005 to a ring-fenced budget (ie a ‘no go area‘ for cuts), and it is a welcome pledge.
It is over 30 years since the target was first set (a further target of 0.3% of GNI from business seems to have been forgotten) and few countries outside northern Europe are anywhere close to it, despite the recent expenditure of far bigger proportions on bailing out banks, and the continuing trillions being spent on weapons. So the TUC unreservedly welcomes the Prime Minister’s pledge:
“What was once an aspiration – 0.7% of national income spent on international development aid, has become with labour a promise, and will in future become a law. We will pass legislation that the British Government is obliged to raise spending on aid to the poorest countries to 0.7% of our national income. Others may break their promises to the poorest, with Labour Britain never will.”