Last year the government announced that it would break its manifesto commitment and cut foreign aid spending from 0.7% of national income to 0.5%, a reduction of more than £4bn. This will result in life-saving water, sanitation and hygiene projects in developing nations cut by more than 80%, education cuts of 40% and UK funding for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative cut from £100m to £5m.
I support increasing international development spending to at least 0.7% of national income and was ready to vote on an amendment on this to the Advanced Research and Invention Bill in the House of Commons. However, the amendment was ruled out of scope by The Speaker and was therefore not voted on. I believe the government should bring this to a vote in Parliament as soon as possible. I would like to see our foreign aid spending used to tackle the global challenges of the pandemic, the climate emergency, and rising levels of poverty and inequality.