Andrew will support in the Commons tomorrow the private member's bill to guarantee the amount of aid for some of the poorest countries of the world.
British aid saves a child's life every two minutes. Every day that aid makes a real difference to the poorest people's lives and livelihoods.
As a developed country, we have the power to support more people to access clean water, better healthcare, and a great education from the earliest age.
The International Development Bill before Parliament commits the Government of the day to use that power for good. It takes party politics out of this commitment to invest 0.7% of our national income on aid. By opting to honour our historic commitment, we rule out the need for annual debates on whether to keep it or not.
Andrew said, "I played a part in the Labour Government setting the UK on course to meet its commitment to invest 0.7% of national income in aid. I was re-elected in 2010 on a manifesto which promised to spend 0.7% of national income on aid and to put this commitment into law. I am backing this Private Member's Bill, which calls on the Coalition to follow Labour's lead in saving lives across the world."
Andrew was in Parliament to support a motion to ban pet shops selling puppies and kittens without their mothers present.
As the second largest animal welfare petition of all time, the 110,000 signature-strong puppy farming e-petition reflects animal lovers’ concerns about the use of pups and kittens for profit, with no thought for their health, welfare, and quality of life.
According to research, pet shops have sold as many as 1.5 million puppies. Often bred in horrific conditions, one in five pups bought from pet shops contract a life-threatening disease, with death involving terrible suffering.
Andrew Smith MP said, “Many of my constituents have written to me about the horrors of puppy and kitten farming. I share their opposition and welcome this debate. I have written to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs about this matter, and I hope the Government listens to the public and moves quickly to close an important supply route—the pet shop.”
Andrew Smith MP today joined the ‘Sustainable Transport and Healthy Living Road Show’ at Oxford Business Park to encourage the people working there to take advantage of the health, financial, and environmental benefits of cycling to work.
With financial support from Oxford City Council, the Business Park is introducing a bike share scheme consisting of four bicycles, a secure cycle store, showers, a towel service, and lockers, all free to use.
The road show coincides with National Cycle to Work Day, which seeks to permanently boost the number of commuters cycling to work. Last year, nearly 7,000kg of CO2 were offset and 12 million calories burned by thousands of cyclists nationwide on the day itself.
Andrew Smith MP said, “Cycling is good for your health, your wallet, and the planet. As a keen cyclist, I have first-hand experience of cycling around Oxford. I hope today’s road show at the Business Park and the Cycle to Work festivities encourage even more people onto their bikes here in Oxford.”
Little else threatens democracy like secret courts and weak regulation of corporate power. That's why Andrew Smith MP and Anneliese Dodds MEP are raising issues of concern about the so-called 'free trade' agreement being negotiated by the United States and the European Union.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) aims to cut barriers to trade by removing differences in how the U.S. and the EU regulate businesses. Cutting barriers to trade can be a good thing, sustaining growth where protectionism can easily produce recession. However, the devil is in the detail, and there is a lot of detail to worry about in the proposed TTIP.
Andrew Smith MP said: "I share many of my constituents' concerns about what this agreement could mean in practice. As their MP, I stand up for their views in our Parliament, which should have the power to ensure matters as important as our health service and environmental protection are properly safeguarded, with disputes settled in open courts. Whilst fairer and more open trade is good, TTIP could allow for an unwelcome growth of corporate, over democratic power, with potentially grave damage to things we value like our National Health Service and action for cleaner air, and a sustainable environment. The negotiations on this need to be transparent, to respect democratic accountability and safeguard the public interest."
Anneliese Dodds MEP said: "While a free trade deal has big pluses such as more, better paying jobs inside Britain, we cannot conclude an agreement at any price. Along with my fellow Labour MEPs, I will not vote for a deal which looks to threaten our NHS or extend the reach of secret courts, which bypass governments and can threaten social and environmental legislation."
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