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Your email address will not be published.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

Jennifer Hudson and the Cast of The Color Purple Brought Down the House With ‘Purple Rain’ in... fb.me/1egu1hFYI

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

Have you watched? Karachi City of Children youtu.be/nrup1E5q9lY

This film explores Karachi, a metropolis of almost 20 million people and its street children. fb.me/7UH6pX6XW

Hi @ace_national we r making theatre accessible w/ a FREE FILM SCREENING of DARA TOMORROW. Pls help spread the word! eventbrite.co.uk/e/dara-screeni…

Hi @Tara_Arts , come join 4 a FREE SCREENING of DARA 2morrow @TheCassArt #history #india & help spread the word! eventbrite.co.uk/e/dara-screeni…

Hi @TamashaOfficial, come for a FREE SCREENING of DARA 2morrow @TheCassArt #history #india & help spread the word! eventbrite.co.uk/e/dara-screeni…

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

.@LondonMet_ISoc There is a free screening of DARA @LondonMetUni this Thursday! Come join 4 this epic #history play londonmet.ac.uk/faculties/the-…