In just one week Westminster Central Hall will be alive with people from all over the country meeting their MPs. Are you one of them?
The last six months have consisted of constant tea talk, deciding on the length and colour of bunting, locating giant teacups from whoever is willing to donate them and lobbying anyone interested in meeting their MP to discuss some crucial issues that, if taken seriously, can make some serious impact for people living in poverty around the world.
We held our first campaigner teleconference last night and I was pleased to hear so many enthusiastic people on the call. We heard from aid and tax justice experts, Parliamentary and advocacy Officers and opened the call to questions.
That’s not the first time people have shown real passion for these issues. Over the last few months Save the Children with Oxfam, ActionAid, TearFund, CAFOD and Christian Aid have been working with hundreds of local campaigners and supporters to ensure as many MPs as possible attend Tea Time for Change on Thursday 9 June and listen to their constituents.
We’ve nearly hit a high of 1300 supporters and 80 MPs. Invite your MP today.
We’ve narrowed down our issues and come up with just three key asks.
Support aid: tell your MP why the 0.7% legislation matters
Aid works; it transforms the lives of millions by kick-staring economic growth, helping parents feed their families and providing vital healthcare and education. Effective aid not only protects people from the worst effects of poverty, it increases the options available to them.
It’s so important for us to defend international aid and show our support for the 0.7% legislation. Liam Fox’s recently leaked letter to David Cameron is just another example of why it’s so important for us to push this issue.
By showing MPs our passion for saving children’s lives we can make sure children living in poverty around the world are put first. We have the power to influence the UK government’s decisions so that a fair share of the increasing aid budget goes towards recruiting, training and deploying the 3.5 million midwives and health workers that are needed globally.
UK aid is vital. It’s helping to get 55 million children life-saving vaccines against preventable diseases. Something we need to ensure continues.
Stop tax dodging and shine a light on payments companies make to governments
Countries could reduce their reliance on aid if they could put the funds rightfully due to them from their natural resources, and money owed to them in taxes, to work reducing poverty. Developing countries currently lose over one and a half times more through tax dodging that they receive in aid.
350,000 children aged five or under in developing countries can be saved each year by stopping tax evasion — multinational companies must pay fair taxes in poor countries to strengthen their basic services and make sure everyone gets a fair deal.
Champion new and innovative ways of funding development
There are new and innovative sources of finance for development which remain untapped. One is Financial Transaction Tax, known as the Robin Hood Tax. A proposed tiny tax of 0.05% on financial transactions could generate a whopping $400 billion globally each year to fight poverty overseas, and help poor countries tackle the effects of climate change.
Banks can play a bigger role in developing countries’ recovery from the crisis — a tiny tax on financial transactions could raise £20 billion in the UK alone, which is double what’s needed each year to provide healthcare for every mother and child.
If you want to find out more visit the community site and come and find us on the day. Each issue will have its own room at Westminster Central Hall, with speakers and even more information on each of the topics.
But it’s the hundreds of people who will be having a face-to-face meeting with their MP on 9 June who will make the biggest impact.