24 July 2009

The Untouchable 0.7%

"Fear of Spending Prompts Radical Thinking" says today's Guardian. But it seems that spending on health and on international development are the only areas that the UK Government and the main opposition party, the Conservatives, can agree will be ring-fenced over the next few years. While I am pleased about this commitment to international development (especially if connected to radical thinking and new efforts to promote greater accountability and impact) I remain puzzled about WHY the committment to achieving the UN target of spending the equivalent of 0.7% of GDP on international development seemingly remains so strong. Are there any votes in it? Is it a reflection of a new found "Moral Sense"? Is it enlightened self-interest in an increasingly interconnected world? And why is the UK public so placid in its acceptance of ring-fenced international development spending? Answers wanted please.

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