VOICE OF THE CITY
THE MAJORITY of the City is against the coalition government’s plans to increase international aid contributions by a third, according to the results of our latest Voice of City poll, run in association with PoliticsHome.com.
Despite 67.1 per cent of respondents saying they were “very favourable” or “somewhat favourable” towards the principle of international aid, more than 55 per cent felt either “very unfavourable” or “somewhat unfavourable” towards proposals to increase the UK’s international aid contributions to 0.7 per cent of GDP – in line with a United Nations aid agreement made in 2005.
Despite the negative sentiment towards increasing the UK’s aid spending, more than two-thirds of those polled said they were broadly in favour of the principle of international aid.
Twenty-seven per cent of respondents are “very favourable” towards the principle, with a further 40 per cent citing themselves as “somewhat favourable”.
The UK’s commitment to increase contributions to funding for vaccine programmes got a more positive response, after Prime Minister David Cameron (pictured, right) promised an extra £814m by 2015 at last week’s Gavi pledging conference.
Thirty-four per cent of our panel strongly approved of the increased in vaccination funding, with a further 29.6 per cent somewhat agreeing with the policy.
Several members of the panel called for greater transparency on how the UK’s aid contributions are used, with one saying: “A concise independent report detailing the objectives of the programmes, how the money is being spent, how much ends up in the wrong hands, what is achieved and how the UK benefits as a result would help people make more informed decisions.”
The government is hoping that a new independent commission unveiled last year will answer the demand for greater scrutiny of how international aid is distributed.
The Independent Commission for Aid Impact was formed in October last year, and will report regularly using a use a traffic light system to rate the effectiveness of aid programmes around the world.
● City A.M. and PoliticsHome interviewed 443 members of the Voice of the City panel by email last week.
Members have been specially recruited to represent a cross section of London’s financial and business community.