Oxfam response to today's Spending Review
Sarah Dransfield Senior Press Officer
26th Jun 2013
In response to today's Comprehensive Spending Review Ben Phillips, Oxfam's Director of Campaigns, said:
"The Chancellor's decision to put a cap on overall social spending could take away support that the most vulnerable people rely upon. We've already seen an explosion in the use of food banks and the largest annual increase in poverty in a decade and a further £4 billion of cuts to the welfare budget can only make things worse.
"At the same time financial problems here shouldn't be used as an excuse to ignore our commitments to people in poor countries, so we commend the Government's decision to stick to our aid promises. The additional aid money the UK government has committed to could save the lives of over 3 million people every year; helping those forced to flee their homes due to conflict or those inflicted by one of the devastating food crises happening in the world today.
"It's crucial for the lives of millions of people in poor countries that we continue to meet our aid commitments until countries are able to increase revenue from taxes and so reduce the need for aid. It is also crucial for people here in the UK that everyone pays their fair share in tax, so cuts and budget shortfalls don't continue to impact on those who can least afford it.
"The Government should prioritise putting an end to tax dodging by companies and individuals. Leaders at the G8 Summit last week showed some political will, but they need to put words into action now to tackle tax evasion and avoidance."
Ben Phillips will be available for live interviews from College Green, Westminster, to arrange please contact: Jonaid Jilani on 07810 181514.
For further information please contact: Sarah Dransfield on 01865 472269, 07767 085636 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
Oxfam and Church Action Poverty released a report in May to highlight the fact that around 500,000 people in the UK have turned to food aid.
Oxfam stats show that the additional money going to the aid budget would be enough to achieve all of the following:
· Provide food, medical supplies, shelter and safe drinking water to hundreds of thousands of people who are fleeing the conflict in Syria
· Train over 3 million teachers, to help ensure every child, wherever they are born, has the possibility to go to school. Currently over a million more teachers are needed in India alone
· Respond to under-funded emergencies, delivering life-saving food aid to millions affected by the ongoing food crises in the Horn of Africa, Yemen and the Sahel region of West Africa
· Give food security to an additional 418,500 people a year, meaning they won't go to bed hungry
· Allow 2 million people living with the HIV virus to get life-saving Antiretroviral medicines, meaning all of the 1.4 million children who are currently missing out get the drugs they need
· Ensure that every single person in Sierra Leone has access to a proper toilet, helping to reduce the spread of deadly diseases like cholera and diarrhoea
· Provide clean drinking water to over 1 million people in Mozambique, where just 5 per cent of the rural population currently have access to it