No-campaign blunder over foreign aid figures

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The anti-independence campaign has been accused of peddling misinformation and untruths about UK aid budgets after it emerged claims that the UK has the second biggest aid budget were untrue.

Official OECD aid figures show that the UK has failed to meet UN aid targets, both in monetary and percentage terms.

The figures show that for 42 years the UK has failed to meet the official UN aid target to spend 0.7% of GNI on aid – which it is signed up to – unlike small European nations such as Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Luxembourg.

Last year, as a percentage of GNI, UK aid fell, and only this month the Tory led UK Government yet again pushed back the timescale for the UK to meet the UN target.

Commenting on the blunder, SNP MSP Humza Yousaf said:

“Day one of the no campaign and already they have been caught red-handed peddling misinformation and untruths. For 42 years the UK has failed to meet official UN aid targets. That missing aid would have saved lives and reduced poverty around the world.

“If this is the standard of statistics being used by the no campaign, it undermines all of their other dodgy figures in their threadbare case against independence and equality for Scotland.

“Under successful Tory and Labour Chancellor’s including Brown, Darling and Osborne, the UK has missed this target – while small European countries – including Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Luxembourg – have met the target.

“Scotland’s ability to tackle global poverty would be strengthened with independence. Already Scotland is showing international leadership on tackling global poverty – such as the First Minister’s championing of climate justice which has brought international recognition.

“We clearly can’t trust the anti-independence campaign on aid – what other misinformation are they peddling?”

OECD figures show UK 6th globally as % of ODA/GNI,  UK aid is 0.56% of GNI. This compares to 1.02% for Sweden, 1% for Norway, 0.99% for Luxembourg, 0.86% for Denmark and 0.75% for the Netherlands.