Another Tory MP thwarts Private Members’ Bill that has cross-party support to spend 0.7% of gross national income on official development assistance. Shadow Secretary of State for International Development Ivan Lewis MP said:
“It is extraordinary that once again a backbench Tory MP has opposed legislation which was in the manifesto he stood on at the last general election and was reaffirmed in the Tory-Lib Dem Coalition Agreement. Enshrining 0.7 in law will not only secure the UK’s commitment to the poorest but will guarantee this is permanently linked to the state of our economy.”
“It is to be hoped that when Mark Hendrick’s Private Members’ Bill returns to the House in April, Tory MPs who have doubts about this legislation will at the very least allow it to proceed for debate and scrutiny through the various parliamentary stages. Any alternative course of action will be undemocratic and represent a breach of trust with the electorate.”
1. Labour MP Mark Hendrick’s Private Members’ Bill seeks to enshrine in law the cross-party commitment to spend 0.7 percent of gross national income on official development assistance. The Bill was initially up for second reading on 13th July 2012 but was objected to by a Tory MP. It was rescheduled for 1st March 2013 and again objected to by another Tory MP. It has been moved for a second reading on 26th April 2013.
2. On Page 117 of Conservative Manifesto: “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.” This was reaffirmed in on page 22 of the Coalition agreement: “We will honour our commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI on overseas aid from 2013, and enshrine this commitment in law.”
Ivan Lewis MP is the Shadow Secretary of State for International Devel