Access the Samosa archives
Is the Coalition planning to abandon the pledge to overseas aid?

By Owen Tudor
April 24th 2012

For months, I have been warning that the coalition government may break its pledge to raise overseas aid spending to the UN target of 0.7% of gross national income (GNI), and concern is growing among aid agencies and politicians.

The House of Lords have offered the coalition a way out by arguing that the overseas aid pledge should be abandoned.

One thing that the Government could do to quiet fears would be to fulfill a subsidiary pledge to put the promise of 0.7% GNI into legislation, but that pledge hangs in the balance. Next month, the second Queen’s Speech of the coalition government will indicate whether that pledge will be fulfilled ahead of the deadline for meeting the target of 2013. But Ministers have been toning down their language on the pledge to legislate.

The Conservative Party manifesto promised that the legislation would be enacted in the first Parliamentary term, a pledge not repeated word for word in the coalition agreement (not that the Liberal Democrats disagreed with the Conservative pledge), but already broken.

Labour’s experienced and canny shadow international development secretary Ivan Lewis has written to his opposite number pressing him on the issue.

There is an argument to be had over whether we should spend 0.7% of GNI on overseas aid, and about whether aid is the best way to make poverty history.

But there have to be very good arguments for abandoning a manifesto promise in this way, and the coalition simply hasn’t made that case.

If they break the pledge, however, the role it played in Conservative Party strategy – to detoxify their brand and convince liberally-minded voters that they were in favour of tackling the moral blot on humanity of global poverty – will begin to fail. The nasty party charge will be back.

Originally published in Liberal Conspiracy

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

thesamosa on Twitter

A test case for justice: By Zohra Yusuf November 25 2014 The horrifying case of the killing and burning of a ... bit.ly/1yNJPFJ

Anwar Akhtar: "The films in Pakistan Calling are manifestos for peace" bit.ly/1zSpZdf fb.me/6TwDdv1z9

New post: Political Islam in neoliberal times thesamosa.co.uk/2014/11/24/pol…

2 people followed me and one person unfollowed me // automatically checked by fllwrs.com

2 people followed me // automatically checked by fllwrs.com

one person followed me // automatically checked by fllwrs.com

2 people followed me and 2 people unfollowed me // automatically checked by fllwrs.com

Fresh Twist In Panorama Expose As Fake Sheikh Makes New Claims huff.to/1u6eONO

Almeena Ahmed - Pakistan, telling the whole story in the media fb.me/1KDYabYOw

The dual education system - Integrating Madrassa with Mainstream education fb.me/2y7qpRNPa

The Berlin Wall in the cold war and now - interactive gu.com/p/42mdb

Laal shared the following link: vimeo.com/63118427 John Pandit from Asian Dub Foundation and RichMix,... fb.me/3mPDryMrq

Blast At Pakistan-India Border Kills At Least 40 huff.to/1tvzRsP

Dara at National Theatre London: By Shoaib Ahmed November 2 2014 Ajoka Theatre, known for staging socially c... bit.ly/1wqtGqX