Tag Archives: make-poverty-history

White wristbands are history

Remember those halcyon days of 2005 when Make Poverty History “forced” the G8 to finally take the problem of international debt and development seriously? Remember how keen both Prime Minister Blair and his then Chancellor Gordon Brown were on championing this issue?

Strange then that as PM, Brown has been quietly letting those commitments drop:

Exhibit A, from the Treasury’s own website: the 2004 Spending Review which stated: “Total UK official development assistance (ODA) … will have risen from 0.26 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI) in 1997 to 0.47 per cent in 2007-08.”

Exhibit B, also from the Treasury’s own website: the 2007 Pre-Budget Report which boasted of: “an increase in overseas aid as a share of national income from 0.37 per cent in 2007-08 to 0.56 per cent in 2010-11.”

So, having promised in 2004 that aid levels would be at 0.47% in 2007-8, they’ve now cut that figure to 0.37% – which is equal to around £1 billion.

Wee Dougie Alexander says its all okay. Word of political advice: when Dougie Alexander says everything is okay, panic. The last person who listened to him is currently in the cludgy.