Today, there will be a debate on the Tories’ planned cut to the UK’s 0.7% aid commitment in the House of Commons.
These planned cuts are shameful and I will be voting against them.
This cut has been marketed by the Tories as a ‘temporary’ measure, however the proposals by the Chancellor are that we will return to spending 0.7% of GNI on aid when the Office for Budget Responsibility’s fiscal forecast confirms that, on a sustainable basis, we are not borrowing for day-to-day spending and underlying debt is falling.
These cuts to international aid will leave the very poorest in the world weaker in the fight against the international threats of poverty, climate crisis and the pandemic.
We vehemently oppose this shameful attempt by the Government to weasel out of their commitments which limits our ability to fight global challenges.
This isn’t a choice between helping those in the poorest parts of the world or here in the UK – these challenges require international cooperation.
This indefinite cut to our aid budget also sends a worrying signal to our allies and enemies alike that the UK is in retreat and is no longer willing to honour our key global commitments and responsibilities.
Moreover, the fact is this Government is making a political choice to cut development aid while at the same time waste billions on dodgy contracts, vanity projects and sheer incompetence.
I, along with other Labour MPs will vote against the motion to approve the proposals in the written statement, meaning, if we win the vote, international aid will go back to 0.7% of GNI in January 2022.