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City MP calls on Government to reverse aid cuts

Stephen Morgan MP has today called on the Government to ‘do the right thing’ and reverse cuts to the aid budget.  

Despite being announced as a key manifesto pledge, the Conservative Government announced last year that it would cut aid spending from 0.7% of the national income to 0.5% – a reduction of more than £4bn.

Britain is the only G7 nation to cut aid during this global crisis and now its allies are taking note.

Cutting the aid budget means:

  • Cutting funding by more than 70% to a research programme that tracked Covid variants, including the Indian variant.
  • Cuts to education programmes by 40% will result in 700,000 fewer girls receiving an education.
  • Researchers on a cutting-edge £15m programme aimed at advancing gender justice and security in 22 countries were told that they would only receive a third of their promised funding this year with less than four months’ notice, placing women and girls in low income countries “under the threat of violence”.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

This Government is stubbornly refusing to reverse its decision over cuts that are callous, short-sighted and counter-productive.

“The aid budget is in place to support the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. In cutting this budget during a global crisis, the Conservative Government is retreating from our moral duty.

“Simply put, cutting access to clean water, quality education, and basic healthcare will lead thousands of people to die who would otherwise have lived. Government must think again.”

Preet Kaur Gill MP, Labour’s shadow international development secretary, also said: 

“The strength and depth of support for protecting the aid we send to help the world’s poorest is clear. 

“The Conservative Government is leaving the UK isolated by being the only country in the G7 to cut this budget while most are increasing. A failure to reverse the cuts would entirely undermine our ability to solve global challenges, from the pandemic to the climate crisis. 

“Rather than trying to evade another vote, the Government must end its retreat and reaffirm its commitment to spending 0.7% of national income with a clear timeline.”