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Isle of Man Government reaffirms committment to Overseas Aid 3 July 2008

THE Isle of Man Government’s support for Overseas Aid is reaffirmed in a Council of Ministers report published today (Thursday July 3, 2008).

The report, which follows a review of current arrangements, includes a new policy statement declaring that the Council of Ministers is ‘committed to the Isle of Man being a responsible jurisdiction, which is able to contribute to the global fight against poverty in the developing world.’

Noting that Government’s Overseas Aid spending has increased from £90,700 in 1997/98 to £2.2 million in 2008/09, the report identifies a number of changes to help the Overseas Aid Committee manage its growing budget.

On future spending, the Council of Ministers has agreed a target of achieving a funding level of 0.7 per cent of gross Government income by 2015, which would take the Overseas Aid budget up to £8.4 million. In the meantime there will be a target of a 20 per cent annual increase for the rest of this administration.

The ultimate goal is to achieve the United Nations recommendation of 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income, which so far has been reached by only five OECD countries. However, the report says meeting this target by 2015, which would mean an Overseas Aid budget of £33 million in that year, is ‘unlikely to be achievable without the requirement to increase taxation and/or reduce spending on other public services.’

The report will be laid before the July sitting of Tynwald for the information of Members, but is not scheduled for debate.

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