The UK’s House of Commons held a vote today (Tuesday 13 July) in which the majority of MPs voted in favour of supporting the Government decision to reduce the UK’s aid budget from 0.7 percent of national income to 0.5 percent.
Earlier today the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, set out the economic conditions that would need to be met in order for the UK aid budget to return to 0.7, which may not be for several years.
In response to the result of the House of Commons vote, Professor Melissa Leach, Director, Institute of Development Studies, said:
“The result of today’s vote is a hammer blow for the UK’s global reputation as an international development leader and for the poorest and most vulnerable, who will be suffering the consequences of this decision for years to come.
“In direct contradiction to the Prime Minister’s ambition for the UK to be a ‘science superpower’ it also seals the damage caused by the drastic cuts to aid-funded research projects tackling the global challenges that affect all of us – poverty and inequalities, disease and climate change.
“The UK is the only G7 country currently cutting aid, with the US, France and Germany all increasing aid. In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and in a year when the UK hosts the G7 and COP26, the Government should be taking a leadership position on international development not retreating from it and breaking its manifesto commitment to 0.7.”