16 September 2020 – the overnight press release

Bill introduced to restore scrutiny of international aid

The Liberal Democrats have secured cross-party support for a Bill being introduced today [16/09/2020] which would create a new select committee to scrutinise Overseas Development Assistance expenditure by the Government.

The move, supported by former International Development Committee Sarah Champion and former DFID Minister Harriett Baldwin, follows the Prime Minister’s decision to abolish the Department for International Aid and rumours the Chancellor now intends to scrap foreign aid.

Liberal Democrat MP Wendy Chamberlain, who is bringing in the Bill, has stressed the need to ensure “that where UK aid is delivered, it delivers”.

In recent weeks, the Government has confirmed plans to axe a £12.5m project to cut teen pregnancy and sexual violence in Rwanda while £4.8m of the aid budget was shifted “to strengthen global supply chains” of supermarket giants including Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Morrisons.

Liberal Democrat MP Wendy Chamberlain said:

For nearly twenty-five years, our aid spending has been scrutinised by the watchful eyes of the International Development select committee. They help ensure that taxpayers get value for money for the 0.7% GNI of aid spending – but also that where UK aid is delivered, it delivers for those who need it most.

DFID was always highly rated for the way it spent UK Aid, but the Foreign Office has had problems. Now more than ever, we need to ensure oversight and scrutiny of the aid budget.

I therefore urge Ministers to do the right thing and recognise that there is support from all parties for a cross-party select committee to ensure that UK Aid continues helping the world’s poorest.

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7 Comments

  • richard underhill.,. 16th Sep '20 - 7:58am

    Yes, and can we expand th\e Commonwealth?

  • richard underhill.,. 16th Sep '20 - 7:58am

    Yes.

  • Due to Brexit both supply chain and Rwanda are important.The supply train cos it is needed now that we are out of the EU .Rwanda to win ‘hearts and minds’ for good PR and possibly future support . Being led by people with no vision,no forward thinking only ‘us 1st’ is not great.

  • richard underhill.,. 16th Sep '20 - 4:20pm

    n hunter 16th Sep ’20 – 10:27am
    Yes, but Rwanda needs to recover from an unpleasantly violent past for humans. David Attenborough visited about 40 years ago, being careful to avoid giving human diseases to the mountain gorillas. One of which was in the recent tv programme about the risks of extinctions, but because the government of Rwanda has got the message the cuddly baby gorilla now has 100+ descendants.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rwanda
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burundi

  • Sorry but the current (or old to be accurate) system was very easy to game both by small and large charities – not to say that many didn’t do good work but efficiency was an interesting concept. If the public knew how much money actually got through the system into the hands of the people who need it they would be mortified at the waste.

    The starting point ought to be that no-one working in charities should earn more than the average UK wage, with a very careful watch on tax free expenses via progressive (aka confiscatory) fines for misuse.

    On the other hand, with a govn into handing over scads of money to its business mates I do get where the concern comes in.

  • Tell us, what have you ever done for a charity, Mr West ?

  • David Raw, have done quite a lot directly as a result of my travels but you are correct I have no enthusiasm for giving money to charities where most of it will disappear into the ether of overheads and salaries even though I believe most of the people working for them have their heart in the right place, and are much nicer people than myself. I think I am up to about ten thousand quid spread over a decade or two given to people who really needed it and mostly benefited from it. Coming from a poor but welfare-free background I do actually know what it is to have empty pockets even though that did not make me a Socialist…

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