Methodist Church applauds support for International Development Bill

The Methodist Church has thrown its support behind a Bill thatcommits the UK to its international aid targets. The InternationalDevelopment Bill, introduced by Tom Clark MP, would require theGovernment to report to Parliament annually on its aid record. Itwould also set the target of spending 0.7% of gross national incomeon overseas aid in law. The Private Members Bill today passed itsthird reading in the Commons with 115 votes and now goes to theHouse of Lords. The Bill has received broad cross-party support andis there is much hope that it will pass into law.

Steve Hucklesby, Methodist Secretary for International Affairs,said 'Make Poverty History called for more aid to be targetedtowards the alleviation of poverty. This bill reinforces theresponsibility of Parliament to scrutinise whether UK aid does inpractice meets its stated aims. Under this law the Secretary ofState for International Development will also have to report eachyear the target date for meeting 0.7% of GNI. This bill reflectsthe public's desire to make international development a key part ofgovernment policy.'

'We recognise the efforts of this Government to boost internationalaid,' said Steve. 'But future governments, of any political colour,may find international development slipping from their radar. Thisbill will prevent our leaders from ever forgetting theirresponsibilities in this area.'