CHRISTIAN Aid supporters from the Garioch met last Friday, (February 22) with Sir Malcolm Bruce, MP to seek assurance that, in his budget speech next month George Osborne will commit the UK Government to spending 0.7 per cent of GDP on international aid, in 2013 and subsequent years.
Sir Malcolm responded that he was sure this would happen as the Prime Minister has promised, making the UK the first of the G8 nations to achieve this agreed UN development target, that was first set 40 years ago.
As well as the GDP promise, the IF campaign wants stronger tax rules to ensure international companies pay their fair share in all the countries where they operate. Ian Waldram, Garioch Christian Aid chair said “Research shows that developing countries lose far more in tax avoided and evaded than they receive in aid, so tighter international tax rules would make a real difference.
“We asked to meet with Sir Malcolm because he chairs the International Development Committee at Westminster that oversees how UK aid is spent. And the MPs on that Committee don’t just talk, they go to places where it’s being spent and make sure it gets to the people who need it.”
Details about the IF Campaign, supported by more than 60 UK development charities including Christian Aid, are at http://enoughfoodif.org/ . There are four key targets: meeting the UN target for aid; agricultural land in developing countries to be used for food crops, not biofuel; reduced tax dodging by international companies; transparency in what tax is raised and how it is spent.
The International Development Committee website details their current Inquiries, at http://www.parliament.uk/indcom.