We have a duty to help poorer countries, says North East Herts MP as he backs aid bill

Sir Oliver Heald

Sir Oliver Heald - Credit: Archant

A bill which commits the government to give a set proportion of the national purse to overseas aid has been backed by North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald.

He voted in favour of the International Development Bill as it passed through its third reading in the House of Commons. It is now with the House of Lords for scrutiny.

The bill commits the UK government to give 0.7 per cent of national income to overseas aid – a target first agreed internationally in 1970 and which the UK was the first G7 country to meet.

British aid has improved the health and education of millions of children and also contributed to sanitation, gender equality and other public service projects.

Sir Oliver said: “I wanted to fulfil our commitment to meeting our UK aid promise and enshrine it in law.

“As a prosperous country, we have a duty to care for the world’s poorest people. It is also in our interest to help build a more peaceful and stable world.

“I am delighted to have turned up and saved lives.”