Thank you for contacting me about the UK’s aid budget and the effort to get a vote on the issue in the House of Commons.
I stood on a manifesto that pledged to maintain an aid budget of 0.7 per cent of the UK’s gross national income. It is also a statutory commitment in the International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Act of 2015. A statutory commitment should only be overridden by a further vote in Parliament, something which has not been brought forward by the Government.
It’s been a tough year for all of us, and for the whole world, and I certainly do not think we should be cutting the budget to half a per cent at this time, especially since the budget was already reduced due to the fall in the size of our economy.
It would be much better if we could donate our surplus vaccines to the very poorest countries and meet our 0.7 per cent obligation again.
That is why I am a signatory to the Mitchell amendment to the Advanced Research and Invention Agency Bill which may be voted on today. If the Speaker selects it for a vote, I shall support this amendment.
Thank you for contacting me on this important matter