Queen's speech omission ignites overseas aid row

From Aid | The Guardian Sat Apr 21 2012, 23:08:05

MPs and charities urge coalition to give force to its pledge by legislating on increased spend

Fears are growing that a coalition pledge to enshrine increased aid spending in law could be quietly axed, amid signs that it has been dropped from the forthcoming parliamentary timetable.

Several charities expressed concern that a law committing Britain to spending 0.7% of its income on international aid by 2013 is likely to be omitted from next month's Queen's speech, which sets out the government's legislative intentions for the year.

Spending 0.7% of GDP is a long-standing UN goal, first mooted in 1970, and all three main UK parties have signed up to it. George Osborne, the chancellor, has allowed for the increase in his budget, from the present 0.54%, but without legislation the percentage could decrease in future budgets.

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