Campaigners welcome Labour’s overhaul of its international policy

Monday, 26 March, 2018
  • Labour in government would use aid to focus on tackling global inequality 
  • Recognition that poverty and inequality are fuelled by western policies and big corporations; charity is not enough 
Campaign group Global Justice Now has commended the Labour Party on its new development policy, released today, saying it represents a long overdue recognition that charity can never make up for the damage that Western corporations, finance and foreign policy have caused in the world.
 
At the heart of Labour’s policy document is a new law to make reducing global inequality a core purpose of British development policy, alongside reducing poverty. The document also calls for a move away from throwing aid money at corporate consultants in favour of supporting public services, as well as pushing major reforms of international institutions and cracking down on tax dodgers. It was launched by shadow international development secretary Kate Osamor in Westminster this morning.   
 
Global Justice Now’s Director Nick Dearden, who was a member of the International Development Taskforce which helped collect evidence for the new policy, said: 
 
“For too long governments have pretended that inequality is just a fact of life and that charity can plaster over the devastation caused by their own international actions. Labour’s new policy recognises that you can’t make the world better by carrying on with ‘market knows best’ economic policies while handing out a bit of charity to those who lose out as a result. Neither can you build a fairer world by handing millions of pounds to well-healed corporate consultants from London who tell governments in Africa, Asia and Latin America how to privatise their education and health systems.
 
“Rather, the way to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality is by helping build decent public services right around the world and supporting workers rights and human rights. After all, that’s what happened here in Britain after the second world war.
 
“We welcome this new thinking from Labour, and hope it will help galvanise political support behind radical policies like changing the way we trade with other countries, regulating and properly taxing international big business, reforming and controlling finance, and redistributing power via radically reformed international institutions and an end to global austerity.”  
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