Rory Weal, a member of the Young Fabians, tackles the negative spin on International Development.
Since 1997 Labour helped lift 3 million people out of poverty each year, helped to get some 40 million more children into school and improved water or sanitation services for over 1.5 million people. Since 1997 the UK development budget has tripled.
Prior to the election, the Tories promised to continue this progress. In their 2010 manifesto they even pledged to enshrine in law an aid pledge of 0.7 per cent of national income in the first session of the new parliament. When the coalition came to power, the Department for International Development said the legislation would be tabled before the present parliamentary session ends in April.
But progress on international development hasn’t been quite as simple as that. The government has buckled under perceived public pressure. A thoroughly misleading and nasty campaign by the right wing press has shifted the debate entirely.
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