An independent Scotland would pledge 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) to foreign aid, SNP members have decided.
A motion at the party’s virtual conference on Sunday, which condemned the UK Government decision to drop the aid budget to 0.5% this week, was passed by members.
The motion, moved by Stirling MP Alyn Smith, Anniesland MSP Bill Kidd and Shetland’s candidate at next year’s election Tom Wills, attacked the decision of the UK Government, describing it as “yet another example of the isolationist policies of Westminster as the Tory party strives towards an inward-looking UK”.
It added: “Conference commits an independent Scotland to recognising its responsibilities as one of the wealthiest nations on the planet and to invest meaningfully in international development projects the world over for the protection and betterment of humankind.”
Mr Smith said: “The Tory Government’s shameful decision to ditch its manifesto and legal commitment of spending 0.7% of gross national income on overseas development aid marks yet another stain on the UK’s record.
“The move is a betrayal of some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world who have been disproportionately hit by the pandemic, as well as the impact of climate change.”
He added: “While the Tories at Westminster turn increasingly insular, an independent Scotland – because of our history, our interests, and our progressive ambitions – will put international development at its heart and will be committed to the 0.7% target.”
Mr Kidd accused the UK Government of “turning their back on the world”.
He said: “We know all too well that we can only tackle the coronavirus crisis effectively here at home if we also strengthen efforts to tackle it in the world’s most vulnerable areas and communities.
“Rather than recognising the global threat posed by the pandemic, as well as the other difficult challenges including poverty, hunger and climate change facing communities, the Tory Government is instead turning its back on the world.”
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe