I am deeply concerned by the UK Government’s decision to reduce aid spending from 0.7% to 0.5%. This is despite their manifesto pledge to maintain the 0.7% commitment. As the only G7 nation to cut aid, breaking a manifesto commitment to support the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, the Conservative Government is retreating from its moral duty and risking thousands of lives, particularly in the height of a global pandemic.
Not only will this undermine the UK’s position ahead of the G7 but also other international and global summits we are hosting this year. The Labour Party and Parliament have repeatedly made it clear that it does not support these aid cuts and that Britain must not turn its back on the world’s poorest people. COVID-19 has shown us how interconnected the world is, and how vulnerable we are to global challenges. Aid is vital for overcoming these global challenges, saving lives, and building resilience overseas, which protects us at home too.
The UK has a proud history of stepping up and supporting those in need. We must not abandon our responsibilities to the world’s most vulnerable. The Labour Party will build partnerships with other governments, civil society groups and communities to overcome global challenges by using the aid budget to tackle poverty and inequality.
It is time for us to step up and support those most vulnerable, and so I will continue to oppose the Government’s decision to reduce the UK’s aid budget.