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Your email address will not be published.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 *

thesamosa on Twitter

ARE WE DIFFERENT? LUTON 6TH FORM COLLEGE STUDENTS SPEAK OUT fb.me/13L102nLk

SETTING UP CLINICS IN PAKISTAN THE TODD SHEA WAY fb.me/7HTsrwVL3

MIDNIGHT'S GRANDCHILDREN John Pandit of Asian Dub Foundation, Anita Sharma of Inquest, and The Samosa's Anwar... fb.me/4TzvyG7rx

My Karachi - Sehar Paljo takes you for a tour of her city for more films visit thersa.org/pkcalling fb.me/11FFb37Sd

Mumtaz - An extraordinary journey to an ordinary Karachi life for more films visit thersa.org/pkcalling fb.me/4Rwd2WgcK

Jon Snow - Pakistan in the media, are we getting the full picture? for more films visit thersa.org/pkcalling fb.me/70zy7xqXF

Mera Karachi Mobile Cinema Imagine if a rickshaw pulled up into your neighbourhood and started projecting videos... fb.me/7PRg2kNCA

DRIVING LIFE – THE AMBULANCE DRIVERS OF KARACHI This film is part of Pakistan Calling bit.ly/1KGcKRB vimeo.com/92118921

Hi @Rev_Rana, watch this short film on marginalised christians in Lahore made by the Pakistan Calling project. thersa.org/discover/video…

Post Edited: Men see my dancing as challenge thesamosa.co.uk/2016/01/18/mus…

What Pakistan can learn from India: By Manzoor Ahmad January 19 2015   The long-delayed telecom policy was fin... bit.ly/1WotGCM

Post Edited: Migration what to expect in 2016 thesamosa.co.uk/2016/01/18/mig…

Post Edited: What Pakistan can learn from India thesamosa.co.uk/2016/01/18/wha…

New post: What Pakistan can learn from India thesamosa.co.uk/2016/01/18/wha…

Post Edited: Men see my dancing as challenge thesamosa.co.uk/2016/01/18/mus…

Post Edited: Muslim men see my dancing as challenge thesamosa.co.uk/2016/01/18/mus…

New post: Muslim men see my dancing as a challenge thesamosa.co.uk/2016/01/18/mus…

Post Edited: Migration what to expect in 2016 thesamosa.co.uk/2016/01/18/mig…