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General election 2024: What to ask your candidates on the doorstep

14 June 2024
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Candidates will be knocking on doors in the run-up to polling day, meaning we can help to put global poverty on the election agenda.

Many of us will be getting a knock on our door from general election candidates in the run-up to polling day.

Conversations with candidates on our doorstep are a great way to explain to those looking for our votes why it's crucial that politicians act to tackle global poverty.

That's why we're sharing this set of questions to put to candidates, asking them to pledge to address poverty if they're elected to serve as our MPs.

Let’s make sure whoever represents us in the next Parliament shows compassion for our sisters and brothers overseas and commits to address global poverty, injustice and the climate crisis.

The global debt crisis

The world is facing a new debt crisis.

Due to price hikes, environmental disasters and rising interest rates, more than 50 low-income countries have been left with unsustainable debt burdens. Money that could be spent on health, education and climate measures is instead being spent on paying debts, with profits going to big banks who charge unsustainably high interest rates and refuse to take part in debt relief initiatives.

A majority of global debt contracts are governed by English law, providing a unique opportunity for the next government to act by introducing a ‘debt justice’ law.

Questions for your candidates

  1. Will you support debt relief for low-income countries that need it so they can properly fund their essential public services?

  2. Will you support a new law that could prevent private creditors such as Blackrock or HSBC from suing low-income countries facing debt distress in UK courts?

The climate crisis

The climate crisis is already causing mass displacement of people across the globe and destroying the natural world.

The UK is one of the largest historic emitters of greenhouse gases, so it has a particular responsibility to take action to keep global temperature rises below 1.5°C. The next government must end all support to fossil fuel projects and assist low-income countries who are facing the brunt of the climate crisis.

Questions for your candidates

  1. We know that we need to transition away from fossil fuels, so would you work to ensure that the UK ends all new oil, coal and gas projects and phases out existing ones?

  2. Do you agree we need to tax the most polluting industries such as shipping, aviation and fossil fuels, raising funds to support low-income countries suffering the harshest impacts of climate catastrophe?

Overseas aid

Despite the legally-binding commitment to spend 0.7% of national income on overseas aid, the UK has slashed its aid budget, and now only spends 0.5% of national income on overseas aid.

In addition, the dedicated Department for International Development has been shut down and increasing amounts of aid are being spent in the UK rather than overseas.

This means that compared to 2020, there has been a huge 40% reduction in aid spending overseas.

Questions for your candidates

  1. Will you agree to restore the aid budget to 0.7% of national income, as required by law?

  2. What you will do to ensure the UK supports people across the world who are living in poverty and to show that we are a country committed to making the world a better place for all?