Harriett Baldwin welcomes much of the Government’s 2020 Spending Review but regrets the decision to break the manifesto pledge to spend 0.7% of gross national income on overseas aid.
It is almost exactly a year since we launched our manifesto, and today’s sobering statement has laid bare the impact that the pandemic has had on the nation’s finances and the difficult choices the Chancellor is having to make. He has done well to keep manifesto pledges on track, but I feel I need to make it clear that I personally feel ashamed that the only manifesto pledge we are breaking today is our promise to the world’s poorest.
I know that this is a topic about which my hon. Friend feels passionately, and rightly so. As she will have heard me say, we do this with a heavy heart. It enables us to make progress on our other priorities, and it is indeed temporary. We intend to return to 0.7% when the fiscal circumstances allow.