Scottish Liberal Democrat MP Michael Moore is to use his Private Member’s Bill to make it a legal requirement for the UK government to meet the UN’s target for development assistance every year.
Mr Moore secured the second slot in the Private Member’s ballot last month and intends to bring forward the International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Bill on Friday 12th September 2014.
The Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Conservatives each included a commitment to the legislation in their manifestos in 2010.
Setting out his plans, Borders MP Michael Moore said:
“I am proud of the fact that the Liberal Democrats have had a long term commitment to the UN’s 0.7% aid target. And I am very proud to have been a member of the first UK government to reach the target. Now I want to see Liberal Democrats legislate with others to make a commitment to keep achieving it.
“The Coalition’s priorities over the past four years may have worked against having Government time for the Bill, but I am delighted that my good fortune in the Private Member’s Bill ballot allows Parliament the opportunity to consider this issue.
“Since I intend to build on the work of people in our party, in the Conservatives and Labour, I hope the consensus will be maintained and the Bill will pass. For my part, I will work with the parties inside Parliament and with interested people outside to make that happen.”
And explaining the need for the legislation, Mr Moore said:
“UK aid is making a huge contribution to people across the world, but at a time when the global economy remains weak and the gap between rich and poor remains appallingly wide, the need for a strong British commitment to development aid is more important than ever.
“We are the first G7 country to reach the UN 0.7% target, but rather than rest on our laurels we should continue to show leadership to other wealthy countries by making it a lasting commitment.
“I hope the International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Bill will help us to do that.”