Many of my constituents have been in touch about my support for the International Development Bill, which has its third reading today and I am proud to say I have voted to enshrine the UK’s commitment to the world’s poorest people in law, completing a course set out by the last Labour government. I’m glad the International Development Bill passed with 146 to 5; it’s a great victory
On Friday 5 December, MPs voted on a Bill to enshrine in law the UK’s promise to donate 0.7% of our Gross National Income to international aid – in line with aspiration first put forward over 40 years ago.
The Conservative manifesto committed to put the 0.7% measure into law and pledged to do so in the Coalition Agreement.
However, the Tories and Lib Dem Government failed to bring forward a law. In November 2014, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said he did not see the need to write the commitment into legislation. This has raised concerns that right-wing Conservative MPs may try to block the law coming before parliament, which has been put forward by a backbench MP.
I’m proud to support Britain’s life-saving, life-changing aid programme and vote for this law to help some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
The last Labour Government tripled the aid budget and dropped the debt, helping to lift three million people out of poverty each year and getting 40 million more children into school.
British aid makes a huge difference to millions – we should be proud of what our generosity can do for those in need and what it says about us as a country.