Lefroy: Budget delivers UK Aid commitment

  • Chancellor confirms in Budget Government’s commitment to spend 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) on Overseas Development Aid (ODA) will be met in 2013/14. This is part of an international commitment first made 40 years ago.
  • The International Development budget is £8.8bn this year (2012/13) and will rise to around £11bn next year (2013/14) to meet this commitment.
  • To put that in perspective it is less than 1.5% of all Government spending; by comparison we spent £167 billion on welfare in 2011/12 (of which £74 billion was on state pensions); a further £30bn on Tax Credits and £12bn on Child Benefit.

Jeremy Lefroy has today praised the Chancellor and Government for sticking to an international commitment to help the world’s poorest people.

He said:

“In difficult times the Chancellor has done the right thing and is sticking by our commitment to the world’s poorest people. These are primarily people who earn £2 a day or less, where the death rate among women in childbirth is very high, where as many as one in ten children die before they reach the age of five and where entirely curable diseases such as malaria and TB kill millions.

“As one of the world’s six largest economies it is absolutely right that we should support people who are unable to help themselves1. That applies both at home and abroad. Spending less than 1% of our wealth each year to help millions of people who have nothing is absolutely the right thing to do.”

“Last week we saw the generosity of the British people in full force with another record breaking year for Comic Relief. This commitment by the British Government, on behalf of the British people, demonstrates our long term commitment to developing nations and people whose lives are blighted by poverty. We can all be proud that the UK is doing our bit to tackle the ravages of absolute poverty wherever we find it, and investing to eradicate disease and build a safer more prosperous world.”

Jeremy added:

“We must also remember this is an investment for our future. Most of the countries with which we are working are growing economically and should, within a relatively short period of time, no longer need assistance. They are also already major customers for UK goods and services. Six of the ten fastest growing countries in the world, for instance, are in sub-Saharan Africa. The contact we have with them and the support they receive now is already putting us in a good position to make the most of these trade and investment opportunities.”

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1 UK ranked 6th largest economy (2012) “Report for Selected Countries and Subjects”. World Economic Outlook Database, October 2012. International Monetary Fund.

Biog – Jeremy Lefroy is the Member of Parliament for Stafford constituency. He was elected in May 2010 at the General Election. He serves as a member of the International Development Select Committee and is also chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases. He also chairs the APPG Tanzania, having lived and worked in the country for 11 years.