Liz Truss’s claim to offer honest development is ‘a game as old as empire’

Liz Truss’s claim to offer honest development is ‘a game as old as empire’

Date: 16 May 2022
Campaigns: Aid

Reacting to the release of the UK government’s new international development strategy (1), Daniel Willis, campaign manager at Global Justice Now said:

“Liz Truss’s claim to be an honest actor when it comes to global development is more Richard Nixon than Mother Teresa. Britain and other wealthy Western countries wrote the book on using aid and loans as a tool of economic control, and the centrality of ‘aid for trade’ to this new strategy shows she has just written the latest chapter.

“Giving one of the main drivers of climate crisis and unsustainable debt, the City of London, a greater role shows Truss moving even further away from the government’s legal obligation to use aid to reduce poverty. The newly-renamed British International Investment has a long record of being better able to demonstrate its returns on investment than any reduction of poverty.(2)

“This document arrogantly claims that the UK knows ‘what works’ for the global south, and only pays lip service to locally-led development. Elsewhere the strategy talks up the need to promote British expertise, increase export opportunities and improve outcomes for British people. This is a neo-colonial approach to aid spending, using aid funds to enrich the UK and spread big business-friendly economic policy around the world. It’s a game as old as empire, but the least Truss could do is be honest about it.”



1. Foreign Secretary launches new International Development Strategy, 16 May 2022,

2. Doing more harm than good: Why CDC must reform for people and planet, February 2020,

Photo: Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)