Boris Johnson announces plan to 'restore' foreign aid budget
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Boris Johnson had performed a dramatic U-turn over planned cuts to the UK spending on international development. Addressing MPs in the House of Commons on Tuesday, the Prime Minister declared that the reduction in the foreign aid budget would not be permanent as previously suggested. Instead, Mr Johnson announced the cut would remain only until the UK economy had fully recovered from the effects of the pandemic.
Mr Johnson told Parliament: “I can assure any honorable member who wishes to make the case for aid that they are, when it comes to me or anyone in the Government, preaching to the converted.
“We will act on that conviction by returning to 0.7 percent as soon as two vital tests have been satisfied.
“First, that the UK is no longer borrowing for current or day to day expenditure.
“Second, that public debt, excluding the Bank of England, is falling as a share of GDP.”
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Boris Johnson’s Conservative Government plans to “temporarily” cut the share of national income which is spent on international development comes after Chancellor Sunak sprung an urgent debate on MP over the issue.
Appearing on LBC ahead of Tuesday’s debate Labour‘s shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy faced a grilling from host Nick Ferrari over whether the aid money would be better put to use in constituencies such as her own.
The Wigan MP said: “The Chancellor is coming to the House today to lecture MPs about fiscal responsibility, having presided over one of the biggest wastes of money with the Covid contracts.
“Billions spent on PPE procurement for things that couldn’t be used in the end, billions given to friends of ministers without any proper procurement process and no track record in delivery.”
Boris Johnson defends decision to cut foreign aid budget
Mr Ferrari asked: “Why wouldn’t you rather see that money spent on the good people of Wigan?”
“The good people of Wigan is that they’re deeply affected by things that happen all over the world,” replied Ms Nandy.
The host fired back: “How are they affected by flatulent cattle in Colombia?
“Or police corruption in Kenya?
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How does that affect the people of Wigan?”
Mr Ferrari accused Lisa Nandy of wanting to throw “£3 billion across the world that we’re trying to save.”
“I’m criticising you for someone who’s very grounded…you love and represent the people of Wigan.
“How are you telling them that they need to fund anti-corruption courses in Kenya?”
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