Harriett Baldwin questions the Government about cuts to the UK’s overseas development assistance resulting from the shrinking economy and seeks a Parliamentary committee to look at overseas development assistance.
The UK is rightly proud of its commitment to the world’s poorest through spending 0.7% of our GNI on eliminating poverty, but with a smaller economy, the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is having to make reductions of £2.9 billion in that spending. Will the Foreign Secretary come to the House to update us on how he is making those difficult choices and trade-offs? When will the Leader of the House table a motion to establish a Committee to look at spending on overseas development assistance across all Departments?
On the second part of my hon. Friend’s question, the Prime Minister told the Liaison Committee that the Government welcome parliamentary scrutiny. I had a meeting last week with the Chair of the relevant Committee, the hon. Member for Rotherham (Sarah Champion), and I discussed with her what steps she wanted to see taken next. Ultimately, what happens to the International Development Committee is a matter for Parliament. As regards the Foreign Secretary coming to the House, he will, admittedly, be here later on, on a different subject, but he is a regular attender of the House and there will be many opportunities to question him.