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Christian Aid urges parties to remember people living in poverty worldwide

13 January 2015 Christian Aid today launches its bid to influence all UK political parties’ general election manifestos.

Tax dodging, climate change and reform of the world’s emergency aid systems are among the topics covered by the document, Contract With the World’s Poor.

Laura Taylor, Christian Aid Head of Advocacy, said: “As parties prepare their manifestos, we believe they must remember people living in poverty around the world. Decisions by UK politicians can have a huge impact on vulnerable families in other countries, so today we set out the principles and promises we hope all parties will adopt, whoever leads the next government.

“From our 70 years’ experience of tackling the root causes of poverty, Christian Aid knows that poverty doesn’t happen by accident. That is why we are trying to influence parties’ policies. However, the organisation is not party political and would never seek to influence how people vote.”

In relation to fairer tax systems, Ms Taylor added: “Tax avoidance and evasion rob countries of vital revenues to provide public services. The next government should continue to champion reform of the global tax system and, crucially, ensure that developing countries benefit.”

Tax reforms suggested by Contract With The World’s Poor include a requirement for greater financial transparency from UK companies and moves to ensure the UK’s Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories can no longer operate as tax havens.

In relation to climate change, Laura Taylor said: “Global warming is already costing lives and destroying the livelihoods of those who did least to cause it. Here in Britain, its impacts are also now being felt. In 2015, governments of the world will meet to endeavour to agree a historic deal on climate change, and we believe the next UK Government belongs at the forefront of those negotiations.”

Climate policies suggested in the contract include working within the EU for the adoption of tougher carbon emissions cuts,  and greater incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency. Another policy recommendation is that the UK should increase its support for developing countries to adapt to climate change and adopt clean energy.

For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact Rachel Baird on 0207 523 2446 or rbaird@christian-aid.org  24 hour press duty phone – 07850 242950  

Notes to editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 50 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended:  this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.

3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development.  Further details at http://actalliance.org

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk

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