Liam Fox’s attempt to dump a Conservative manifesto and Coalition agreement commitment by stealth is reckless and threatens the proper functioning of the Cabinet. The promise to legislate Britain’s 0.7% aid spending is clearly in DFID’s 2011 business plan and is an article of faith for the government’s overseas development policy.
On October 19th The Guardian warned of the dangers of aid money being diverted into war zones and delivered through military structures. It seems despite huge increases in ODA for Pakistan and Afghanistan Dr Fox has not relented in his attack on the UK aid budget. Vital safeguards to ensure UK aid is spent on poverty reduction are now under threat – as his letter demonstrates only too clearly.
The Prime Minister and Development Secretary should make clear that development spending will not be the next broken promise of this Tory-led government – by naming the date they actually intend to pass this legislation through Parliament.
You can voice your opposition to Dr Fox’s view by signing up to the Keep the Promise campaign here at keepthepromise.co.uk