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Harriet Harman responds to the Comprehensive Spending Review

20 October 2010

Statement from Harriet Harman, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, on the Comprehensive Spending Review:

“We welcome the government’s commitment to continue with Labour’s target of 0.7% of GNI on overseas aid from 2013 but freezing the percentage of aid for two  years will inevitably beg the question about whether they will deliver on that commitment.  This makes it all the more urgent that they bring forward  the legislation that they promised and enshrine in law the requirement to meet the 0.7% target from 2013.”

“The government is asking for a great leap of faith for us to trust that they will  increase the aid budget by 30% in 3 years time so they must bring forward the legislation to  Parliament which will enshrine their commitment in law.   The Bill is already drafted and we will give it full co-operation for its passage through Parliament.  Failure to do so will only raise fears that they remain in doubt about whether they will actually keep their promise.”

“In the meantime we will be watching very closely to see that the DFID budget is spent on poverty relief and not siphoned off for military or other purposes.”

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