Now that the initial buzz of the UK election results have died down, we’ve taken a look at what a majority Conservative government will mean for international development:
By 2020, the manifesto commits the Conservative Party to immunising 76 million children, helping 11 million children in the poorest countries gain a decent education, improving nutrition for 50 million people, and helping 60 million access clean water and sanitation!
The manifesto also puts an emphasis on the private sector by making it easier for people to start businesses and trade more freely with each other. The Party will push for global goals to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 and promote human development, gender equality and good governance. They will also triple the International Citizen Service and double the Aid Match scheme.
The manifesto promises to tackle global poverty because it is “both the right thing to do and in Britain’s interests”. They will uphold the 0.7% target, keep DFID as an independent government ministry, and keep aid untied. In the context of aid & development, the manifesto states that the Party will tackle Islamist extremism, an aggressive Russia, economic uncertainty in the Eurozone, nuclear proliferation and infectious diseases with UK military power and aid: “Aid helps prevent failed states from becoming havens for terrorists. It builds long-term markets for our businesses, by promoting global prosperity, and reduces migration pressures. So we will maintain our commitment to tackling conflict, poverty and disease around the world.”
Women and Girls:
The manifesto prioritises protecting girls and women from violence as a key priority both domestically and internationally. Domestically, they will work with local authorities, the NHS and Police and Crime Commissioners to ensure a secure future for specialist FGM and forced marriage units, refuges and rape crisis centres. They will also lead the fight against violence, FGM and early and forced marriage abroad. They will promote girls’ access to education, property rights and family planning.
The UK will continue to lead responses on humanitarian emergencies, and learning from Ebola will lead a major new global programme to accelerate the development of vaccines and drugs to eliminate deadliest diseases. They will also invest to save lives from malaria and work to end preventable child and maternal deaths. All money given will be for specific purposes and funding will be expanded depending on results.
Tax transparency falls under both the domestic and international agendas.
Internationally, they hope to keep the UK as a world leader in the efforts to ensure global companies pay their fair share of tax, citing David Cameron’s actions at the G8 Summit at Lough Erne as an example. They see this key moment having secured international progress on fairer tax rules and company beneficial ownership. They will also encourage all countries to sign up to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. They will review the implementation of the new international country-by-country tax reporting rules and consider the case for making this information public. They will also take action to make it a crime if companies fail to stop economic crimes, with large enough punishments to deter global organisations, and will insist every government and organisation they fund meets global transparency standards.
Domestically they will clamp down on tax evasion, tax planning and aggressive tax avoidance with an aim to raise at least £5 billion. They will look to increase annual tax charges for those with non-domiciled status. They also praise the creation of the Office of Tax Simplification in 2010, and plan to establish and expand OTS on a permanent basis. They also will continue to pursue transparency within the government, having established the Open Government Partnership and will seek party funding reform.
They will push for a strong climate deal at COP, keeping the goal of limiting global warming to two degrees.
The Government will look to scrap the Human Rights Act and introduce a British Bill of Rights, to break the formal tie between the British Courts and the European Court of Human Rights. They state they will also stand up for the rule of law and human rights in Zimbabwe.