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International Aid Cut Incites Tory Revolt

Sun Jun 06 2021

30 Conservative MP’s have signed an amendment to reinstate the 0.7% aid budget

A new bill has been introduced in Parliament that reinstate the UK’s target spending of 0.7% of its gross national income of international aid.

30 Tory MP’s have signed an amendment that could well force the Government into an embarrassing U-turn on its cuts to overseas aid spending.

 

The ‘revolt’ is being spearheaded by the Conservative MP for Sutton Coldfield and former international development Secretary Andrew Mitchell who added the clause into the Advanced Research and Invention Agency Bill.

That amendment to the bill could force the Government to make the 0.7% legally binding as of next January, increasing spending from 0.5% on all overseas development assistance.

 

When the cut was first announced last November, NonProfit leaders were quick to criticise the Government, so today’s amendment has been widely praised in the charitable sector.

If the bill passes in its current form, with the amendment, a new agency would be created to make up any shortfall in aid if the Government were to fail in meeting the 0.7% target. Said agency would also be responsible for coming up with new and innovative policy ideas.

 

Andrew Mitchell has gone on the record stating that the revolt offers Britain a chance to reclaim it’s “rightful place” on the world stage… especially considering the upcoming G7 summit next week.

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More and more of my colleagues in the House of Commons are supporting this move to stand by our manifesto promise. With our economy returning to growth, there is no justification for balancing the books on the backs of the world’s poor. Britain’s national interest is not being served by the devastating impact these cuts are already having on the ground and the unnecessary loss of hundreds of thousands of innocent lives. We urge the government to think again.

Andrew Mitchell – MP for Sutton Coldfield

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Nice Chairs of Commons Select Committees have already come out in favour of the amendment, including the current International Development Chair Sarah Champion, Labour MP for Rotherham

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In 2021 we will spend more than £10bn to improve global health, fight poverty and tackle climate change. While the seismic impact of the pandemic has forced us to take tough but necessary decisions, the government is committed to returning to spending 0.7 per cent of GNI on aid when the fiscal situation allows.

Government Spokesperson

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Other MP’s from have also come forward in support, as well has dozens of NonProfit leaders from across the sector.

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The government’s decision to cut the aid budget in the middle of a pandemic risks lives. The foreign secretary has failed to conduct impact assessments on the cuts and slashed everything from aid to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in Yemen to programmes tracking new Covid-19 variants. As the only G7 country to cut aid in the middle of a pandemic, the UK’s credibility as a leader on the greatest global challenges has been undermined

Preet Kaur Gill - Labour MP for Birmingham Edgbaston & Shadow International Development Secretary

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Sun Jun 06 2021

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