Diane Abbott answers questions from LCID

This interview with Diane is difficult to hear in places, but you can read a transcript of the interview below.

Diane Abbott is the fourth of the leadership candidates to answer questions from the Labour Campaign for International Development (LCID). You can find out more about LCID, and sign up for their email updates on their website.

What is your vision for Britain’s role in tackling extreme poverty?

DfID does a fantastic job, but I would fund it better, I would ensure that less of its money goes on consultants advising people how to privatise their public sectors, and I think water and sanitation should be much higher up the agenda.

Do you think the UK financial sector should pay more in taxation to prevent cuts in public services at home and pay for development and climate change projects abroad?

I’m a big supporter of the financial transactions tax, and its gaining support amongst European governments and in American politics, although the administration has yet to sign of for it. I think that a Robin Hood Tax would serve a number of useful functions. First of all, it might take some of the heat out of the financial bubble, Secondly it would raise money for worth while causes like development. And thirdly, some of the money could go to fill the gap in the budget deficit.

Did we do enough in government to make trade fair?

I think trade, not aid, is the key to giving justice and decent living standards to people in the third world. I think we have to understand what went wrong with Doha, that people just felt it was just opening the door for western multinationals to their countries and it wasn’t an equal negotiation. But I think we have to remember that if Africa, much of Asia and Latin America were to increase their trade by just 1% that would take 128 million people out of poverty.

How would you help ensure that world leaders take ambitious action on climate change?

I think we have to broaden the movement for climate change in this country, and that involves bringing in Diaspora communities, whether from Africa or people who come from small island states, who know what the reality is for climate change for their countries. And we need lead internationally in offering third world countries support and compensation to fight climate change and deal with the effects of climate change.

Should the International Development budget be protected?

It’s important to ring fence it, and to ring fence it not in a bogus Tory way, where by the redirect DfID money into what is really defence aims – but it is important to ring fence it because it is the most elemental form of justice, putting money towards giving international equality in some of the poorest countries in the world

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