Tag Archives: Budget

A Historic Day

This will be RESULTS’ 1,000th blog post, and there is no better issue to be writing about than the news that George Osborne, the UK’s Chancellor, has just delivered his budget for 2013-14 that includes making good a promise the UK first made forty years ago.

In this budget, for the first time, Osborne has committed the UK to spending 0.7% of GNI (Gross National Income) on aid. It is difficult to overestimate how amazing this is.

First, what does that actually mean? In real terms, it means that the Department for International Development will have its overall budget increased to £10.7bn for 2013-14 and maintained in future years. This sounds like a lot of money, and it is: it is the kind of money that changes things.

What does it change? For one example, lets look at the money the UK Government invested in the GAVI Alliance (the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation). The £814m pledged in 2011 meant that the UK taxpayer was saving a child’s life every two minutes from 2011 right through to 2015. This isn’t something abstract – these are real children who get to live because of our support, with even more not falling ill. Even better, GAVI has a system whereby countries that benefit from this assistance take on the cost of vaccination themselves over time, so this makes it a truly catalytic investment.

The same is true for our investments in an organisation called the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (known as The Global Fund for short). The Global Fund is so effective at fighting those three diseases that it is now saving more than three thousand lives every day. The return on investment, in terms of lives saved and suffering and misery avoided, is immense. The UK now has the mandate to increase its investment in lifesaving, efficient, and effective organisations like the Global Fund, and it should do so.

What this latest announcement isn’t – and we should be very clear about this – is unaffordable. The Government has rightly pegged our aid budget to a percentage of GNI. In fact, 0.7% of GNI is a very tiny part of the UK’s overall spending. Once you get past a few thousand, most of us have trouble putting big numbers into context. So, anything measured in billions might sound like a lot, until you realise that the numbers you’re comparing them to are measured in trillions. Increasing the aid budget in this way costs us, individually, pennies – but those pennies make a tremendous difference in the world.

David Cameron and George Osborne have pressed ahead with making this historic commitment despite loud opposition, much of it from within their own party. It is to their absolute credit that they have engaged intelligently and articulately with those aid doubters and repeatedly made the case for why aid spending is not just the moral thing to do, but the smart thing to do.

Most importantly, they’ve put their money where their mouth is. The result will be a powerful force for good in the world.

This is a day that should make every British person proud.

RESULTS joins a game of Spot The George

Spot The George

This morning RESULTS UK joined 500 of its fellow IF campaigners in dressing up as George Osborne. Complete with masks and budget boxes we descended on Parliament Square to remind the chancellor to keep his promise to spend 0.7% on overseas aid when he reveals the 2013 budget tomorrow.

We greatly anticipate his announcement.

View more photo from the stunt here.

Advocates: The time is now to affect the EU budget!

Yesterday (the 30th of June) the European Commission published the proposed Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF), commonly referred to as the European Union Budget. The MFF is a key document: it sets overall spending limits for EC activity for a seven year period – this time, from 2014-2020. We are working on the MFF in our July Action, as it has great potential to really help with the vaccines so needed to protect people in developing countries.

There is great news. Thanks to pressure from Civil Society Organisations and coalitions like CONCORD, the Commission is proposing an increase in funding for international development activities. Overall, there is a €14 billion increase for “Heading 4″ on external funding: this is a substantial increase from the current level of €56 billion (2007-2013) to €70 billion for 2014-2020. This is important, as Heading 4 is the part of the budget used in “establishing a coherent role for Europe on the global stage – inspired by its core values – in the way it assumes its regional responsibilities, promotes sustainable development and contributes to civilian and strategic security.Continue reading

0.7% GNI for aid by 2013 protected in spending review

The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander have announced details on the comprehensive spending review promised by the coalition government. The government continues to reinforce its commitment to 0.7% of Gross National Income spent on aid by 2013, stating:

…reducing spending this year is only the first step on a long road towards restoring good management of Britain’s public finances. Even tougher decisions will be required at the Spending Review. The Government is determined to take those decisions in a way that is in line with its values of freedom, fairness and responsibility. The Government will:

deliver its guarantee that health spending will increase in real terms in each year of the Parliament, and that 0.7 per cent of GNI with be spent on overseas aid by 2013. (emphasis added)

This is good news which RESULTS welcomes wholeheartedly. We eagerly anticipate the next budget which will be an opportunity for the government to put these promises into action.

The full document is available here.