General Election candidates receive global poverty manifesto

By staff writers
January 13, 2015

UK-based churches' global development agency Christian Aid has launched its bid to influence all political parties’ 2015 Westminster general election manifestos on issues of poverty and justice.

Tax dodging, climate change and reform of the world’s emergency aid systems are among the topics covered by the new document, 'Contract With the World’s Poor', which will be made available to all parties and candidates.

Laura Taylor, Christian Aid Head of Advocacy, explained: “As parties prepare their manifestos, we believe they must remember people living in poverty around the world. Decisions by UK politicians can have a huge impact on vulnerable families in other countries, so today we set out the principles and promises we hope all parties will adopt, whoever leads the next government.

“From our 70 years’ experience of tackling the root causes of poverty, Christian Aid knows that poverty doesn’t happen by accident. That is why we are trying to influence parties’ policies. However, the organisation is not party political and would never seek to influence how people vote.”

In relation to fairer tax systems, Ms Taylor added: “Tax avoidance and evasion rob countries of vital revenues to provide public services. The next government should continue to champion reform of the global tax system and, crucially, ensure that developing countries benefit.”

Tax reforms suggested by Contract With The World’s Poor include a requirement for greater financial transparency from UK companies and moves to ensure the UK’s Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories can no longer operate as tax havens.

In relation to climate change, Laura Taylor said: “Global warming is already costing lives and destroying the livelihoods of those who did least to cause it. Here in Britain, its impacts are also now being felt. In 2015, governments of the world will meet to endeavour to agree a historic deal on climate change, and we believe the next UK Government belongs at the forefront of those negotiations.”

Climate policies suggested in the contract include working within the EU for the adoption of tougher carbon emissions cuts, and greater incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency. Another policy recommendation is that the UK should increase its support for developing countries to adapt to climate change and adopt clean energy.

* Read the 'Contract with the Word's Poor' manifesto here (*.PDF Adobe Acrobat document): http://www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/manifesto-leaflet-September-2014.pdf

* More on the 2015 General Election from Ekklesia: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/generalelection2015

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