Speaking in the second reading of his International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Bill today, Scottish Liberal Democrat MP Mr Moore said, as part of the UK, Scotland’s support for the world’s poor ‘goes further and our impact is stronger’.
Mr Moore’s Private Member’s Bill will makes it a legal requirement for the UK to spend 0.7% of Gross National Income on aid.
Britain was the first country in the G7 to meet the target last year and if the Bill passes, future governments will be bound by law to meet the commitment.
The Bill is backed by the heads of the UK’s top international development charities and had its second reading in the House of Commons today.
Mr Moore said:
“Right now we are in the midst of an almighty debate about our future. Many Scottish colleagues are absent today as a result – and those here, like me, are heading home immediately after this debate.
“Development is a small but important part of the debate in Scotland. Reaching the UN target is an achievement of the UK as a whole, including Scotland.
“As part of the UK, Scotland belongs to a family of nations which are the world’s second largest donors of international aid.
“And we are not passive in this process either. 40% of the staff at DFID are based in Abercrombie House in East Kilbride.
“Together, with the rest of the UK, our money goes further and our impact is stronger.
“Scots who want their country to be a force for compassion and relief should reflect on what we have today. That we can do more as part of UK. Why would we walk away from that?”
On the Bill, Mr Moore added:
“Enshrining the 0.7% target in law will move on the aid debate from how much we spend to how we spend it.
“This Bill will make sure that as a country we continue to provide people in grave need with lifesaving support - including food, water, shelter and medical assistance.
“It will also set an example to other wealthy countries to persuade them to join us in the commitment.
“I am extremely proud the UK has delivered on the 0.7% target and this Bill will ensure we continue to do so in years to come.