Social Justice Ireland’s alternative Budget proposes an increase in overseas aid

Monday, 04 Oct 2010

A coalition of 70 anti-poverty groups and NGOs today welcomed Social Justice Ireland’s proposal to increase the overseas aid budget in its 2011 alternative Budget.

Earlier today, Social Justice Ireland (SJI) presented a fully-costed alternative Budget. In this budget SJI achieves the Government’s aim of saving €3bn in Government expenditure, and at the same time have been able to increase overseas aid by €50 million, in line with the “Act Now on 2015” campaign asks.

Commenting on the release of the alternative Budget, David Joyce, Equality and Development Officer at the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), stated:

“Last month, the Government publicly re-committed, at the UN Summit, to achieving the UN target of spending 0.7% of national income on overseas aid. History has shown clearly that such commitments need to be matched by year-on-year targets, to avoid our commitment slipping.”

The “Act Now on 2015” campaign is calling on the government to announce binding annual targets to achieve the UN target of spending 0.7% of national income on overseas aid by 2015 at the latest and enact legislation to guarantee Ireland's aid commitment.

John-Mark McCafferty, Head of Social Justice and Policy at The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, noted:

“Our overseas aid programme provides us with a degree of influence well beyond what can be expected of a small country. Ireland is able to lead the world in the fight against Hunger and Poverty, because these are issues close to Irish people’s hearts: Recent opinion polls showed that 4 out of 5 people in Ireland feel that we must keep our promise on overseas aid. We welcome the fact that Social Justice Ireland has now shown that we can deliver on our promise, even in a climate of unprecedented financial turmoil at home.”

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