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Government fails to implement aid promises

It was very disappointing to see that the Queen’s Speech to Parliament on 8 May did not include legislation enshrining in law the UK’s commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on international development assistance.

This fails to fulfil commitments made in the Coalition Agreement and by both parties in government prior to the last election.

The Coalition Agreement states: “We will honour our commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI on overseas aid from 2013, and to enshrine this commitment in law.”

The Conservative Manifesto said: “A new Conservative government will be fully committed to achieving, by 2013, the UN target of spending 0.7% of national income as aid. We will stick to the rules laid down by the OECD about what spending counts as aid. We will legislate in the first session of a new Parliament to lock in this level of spending for every year from 2013.”

We welcome the fact that the UK is the first developed country to meet the target of 0.7 gross national income for aid, and recognise that the present Government has shown leadership to other countries who have made less progress to honour their commitments to reach this goal.

However, we still hope that we will see legislation to secure the 0.7% aid commitment. Both parties in government have promised this and many of their MPs have made much of their support for the IF campaign that has the 0.7% as one of its key aims. And making development support more predictable and reliable in this way would make aid more effective.

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