Budget reaction from the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign
Following the Chancellor's Budget statement today, I wanted to share the reaction from the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign. Supporters of the campaign have been mobilising ahead of today's Budget statement to show strong support for the UK's historic commitment to spend 0.7% of national income on overseas aid and encourage the government to tackle tax dodging in the forthcoming Finance Bill.
The Enough Food for Everyone IF response to the Budget 2013:
"The Government's historic decision to keep its promises to the world's poorest is something of which we can all be proud, particularly during these tough times.
"In a world where one in eight people go to bed hungry we have an obligation to help. British aid helps hungry people feed themselves and saves lives in Africa, Asia and beyond. Today's decision means millions more people will benefit.
"Aid alone will not end poverty. The Chancellor should use next week's Finance Bill to make it easier for poor countries to collect the tax they are due from multinationals and make them more self-sufficient. That would show the rest of the G8 the UK is serious about pushing for an international agreement to fight tax dodging that hurts the hungry."
We would be delighted if you felt able to speak out in the debates following the Budget statement today, highlighting the IF campaign calls on aid and tax. Here are a few suggested points that you might like to raise:
* Welcome the historic announcement today that the UK will meet its 43 year old promise to spend 0.7% of national income on aid, despite tough economic times. As Bill Gates recently wrote<http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2294674/Bill-Gates-Yes-I-furious-foreign-aid-wasted-But-Britons-saving-lives--leading-world.html>, UK aid will have a huge impact on the lives of the poorest people around the world as well as strengthening the UK's moral leadership, which will reap returns as a source of British influence around the globe for years to come.
* One of the most effective uses of UK aid is investment in small-scale agriculture and nutrition. With the right levels of investment this could help achieve food security for over 418,500 people annually and prevent child and maternal malnutrition in the 36 highest burden countries.
* In addition to vital resources through aid from the international community, developing countries desperately need to be able to raise more tax revenues to invest in reducing hunger. The UN/ IMF/ OECD and World Bank, along with the International Development Committee all recommend that rich countries should have regard to the needs of developing countries when planning their own tax affairs.
* Highlight that the government can still include the necessary proposals in the Finance Bill that would require multinationals to reveal the tax avoidance schemes they are using in the developing world, helping developing countries collect more of the tax they are owed. These proposals would sit alongside the measures set out in the Budget to tackle tax avoidance in the UK and would be an important step in building momentum towards the multilateral work being taken forward at the UK G8 in June.
If you are planning to tweet about the UK's historic aid promise – or indeed the need to tackle tax dodging – please feel free to use the twitter handle @enoughfoodif and the hashtags #if and #budget2013. We have also produced a "thank you" video for the 0.7% commitment which you may like to watch - http://youtu.be/Wivj2hQarp0
If you would like more information about the calls we have been making on aid and tax ahead of the Budget, you can read more in our MP Budget briefing<http://enoughfoodif.org/sites/default/files/IF_budget_MP_briefing.PDF>. We also have a specific briefing on tax and the Finance Bill<http://enoughfoodif.org/sites/default/files/IF_financebill_MP_briefing.pdf> including the detail of our ask on DOTAS. Otherwise, if you have any questions regarding our reaction to the Budget statement or the IF campaign more broadly then please do not hesitate to get in touch – my details are below.
On behalf of the IF campaign
Parliamentary and Advocacy Officer
Save the Children, 1 St John's Lane, London EC1M 4AR
Direct Line: +44 (0)20 7012 6705
You can follow me on Twitter: @ZaraTJ<http://twitter.com/#!/ZaraTJ>
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