Norwich South MP gives support to IF Campaign
Christian campaign group Norwich Speak invited Norwich South MP Simon Wright to a meeting on April 11 to establish his support for the anti hunger IF Campaign.
by Helen Baldry
Lizzie Baker from Norwich Speak organised the event on April 11 at Norwich Central Baptist Church so that people could show their support of the campaign and ask Simon Wright about his views.
Lizzie presented the aims of the campaign to the group which includes action against land grabs, use of aid, tax dodging in poor countries and transparency in the investments and financial transactions made in the poorest countries that stop people getting enough food.
Simon Wright spoke of his support of the IF Campaign, “It is a really good campaign that has come at a really important time for the UK. There are big issues coming up at the G8 and it is vital that the UK shows its leadership in all these areas.”
“In my view it is morally essential that we keep our promises about international aid.”
Simon spoke of feeling pessimistic in the past about media engagement but described IF as a “sea change” with over 100 charities pulling together, “Getting crucial buy-in makes it so much easier for politicians”
When speaking about tax and transparency, Simon said that social cohesion will be promoted by transparent tax collection. “The tax system is at the heart of an effectively functioning state. The process itself is a measure of good governance.” He would like to see deliberate tax avoidance tackled and he supports the recommendations in the Finance Bill which require weathly companies and individuals to report their use of tax schemes with an impact on developing countries. A further recommendation is that the UK will use its powers to notify developing countries' tax authorities to assist recovery of money owed to them.
The group spoke about the attitude of large companies that needs to change so that tax loopholes are no longer exploited and that the spirit of tax avoidance is stopped. Simon said, “In Norwich, organisations such as Aviva are being robust about some of these issues, which I think is positive.”
The IF campaign is making the headlines and gaining momentum which leads to optimism about the ability to see some changes to help end hunger in the world's poorest countries.
Save The Children are one of the partner charities supporting IF and they have made this video: