We are delighted to inform members that the Scottish Government has protected all international development expenditure in this week’s spending review.
Mr Swinney noted that “The setting of this budget has…taken place against the backdrop of the toughest public expenditure conditions we have yet faced”. So it is every credit to the Scottish Government that, like the UK Government, international development has been ring-fenced.
In the announcement the Scottish Government committed to continuing: “to enhance Scotland’s reputation as a good global citizen through our international development agenda”.
And: “…on our international development work: maintain the International Development Fund at £9 million enabling us to continue to provide support to development projects in our priority countries, including Malawi; and to continue to work across Ministerial portfolios to support international aims, including, on water management, climate justice, the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative and the new UN Sustainable Development Goals.”
Noting that: “Scotland has always been an outward-looking nation, embracing the world beyond our borders. It is important that this legacy is continued with Scotland acting as a good global citizen and making a contribution to the international community. International development is of course a key tenet of that, making distinctive contributions in addressing global challenges such as climate change, tackling inequality and promoting human rights, and sharing our knowledge, skills and technical expertise for the global good.”
We applaud both the Scottish and the UK Governments for continuing to protect international development expenditure through more challenging economic times. The SMP wrote to the First Minister on Wednesday to pass on our members’ thanks.