Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Malcolm Bruce: Cutting overseas development aid would be unconscionable

Having fought two general elections in quick succession on a pledge to maintain the commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of gross national income on development assistance for poorer, it is unconscionable that the government is considering dropping this commitment.

That's the argument made by the Liberal Democrat peer and former MP Malcolm Bruce in an article for The Press and Journal today.

He says this policy is not charity: it is both a moral commitment and enlightened self-interest.

'Enlightened self-interest' is a concept I have been fond of since I first came across it in philosophy. 

Malcolm concludes:

The pandemic has convulsed the world. Yet the impact on poorer countries will be calamitous and it is not just about the pandemic and a plethora of health care challenges.

Many are struggling with debt, the impact of climate change and loss of livelihoods. All of this will require a massive international effort.

If the UK walks away now it will be to abandon our world leadership - our soft power pre-eminence and to display a mean-spirited country turning in on itself.

Cutting aid will not make disease, conflict and climate disasters go away. They will come back redoubled to our door.

1 comment:

nigel hunter said...

As Vince Cable says in his Independant article that 0.7 will be reduced by inflation. It follows that that 0.5 will reduce it still further. We had a good reputation over our giving for 'soft power' .We now tend to loose it. with the negatives that will ensue we will loose influence in the World. It will not make us 'Global Britain'.

The approx £4 billion, interestingly, is about equal to the money given to building our 'World beating' new naval ships.Rob Peter to pay Paul?

Let the poor of other nations starve for ideology dreams.