Debates between Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale and Lord Agnew of Oulton during the 2019 Parliament

Overseas Development Assistance

Debate between Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale and Lord Agnew of Oulton
Wednesday 14th July 2021

(2 years, 11 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Agnew of Oulton Portrait Lord Agnew of Oulton (Con)
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My Lords, I can reassure my noble friend that the 2015 Act had provision for suspension of the 0.7% depending on major events such as the one we have just experienced with Covid. I politely remind him that we have seen the largest drop in our economy with regard to our GDP in 300 years, and the Act made provision for adjustments to the rate in light of such events.

Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Portrait Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale (Lab)
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My Lords, I drew attention to my entries in the Lords’ register. When the Government confirmed the withdrawal of military support in Afghanistan they stressed, rightly, the critical importance of advocacy of the rule of law, democracy and our support for development in that country as an alternative way forward. Yet, as just one example of these cuts, a project for rural women in Afghanistan has been cut in the third year of its four-year programme, resulting in thousands of women who will no longer receive literacy training or vocational educational training, or be able to complete their courses. Do not the Government think the Taliban will be cheering this decision, delighted that we took it yesterday in the House of Commons? Do they really think that we promote the rule of law and democracy by breaking our own laws in the way that has just been announced by the Chancellor and Prime Minister?

Lord Agnew of Oulton Portrait Lord Agnew of Oulton (Con)
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My Lords, I respectfully disagree with the noble Lord. We have not broken our own laws. As I pointed out in my supplementary answer to my noble friend, this is a suspension of the current percentage which is allowed under the original Act. We have committed through the debate yesterday that we will revert to the original Act’s commitment when the economy allows us to do so.

Unemployment

Debate between Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale and Lord Agnew of Oulton
Thursday 11th June 2020

(4 years ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale Portrait Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale (Lab) [V]
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My Lords, on 28 May, the Prime Minister said that we needed to work together to get our shared goals, including the sustainable development goals, back on track. He has also spoken about the need to “build back better”. On Tuesday, more than 100 leaders of major businesses and organisations called on the Government to include the sustainable development goals at the heart of their recovery plan. Will they heed this advice?

Lord Agnew of Oulton Portrait Lord Agnew of Oulton [V]
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The advice will be taken in the context of our overall economic recovery. Our first priorities have to be keeping this country safe and getting our businesses reopened, and it is only by having a healthy economy that we will be able to become heavily involved in the sustainable issues referred to by the noble Lord.