Minister resigns as UK cuts foreign aid spending commitment

Marco Green
Ноября 25, 2020

Also on Wednesday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak will present the details of the Spending Review, which will coincide with the Office of Budget Responsibility releasing its latest projections for the British economy.

He said the aid budget would be reduced to 0.5 percent of gross national income, and return to 0.7 percent "when the fiscal situation allows".

In a sobering address to the House of Commons earlier today (25 November), Rishi Sunak said the Government will borrow a peacetime record of nearly £400bn this year as it seeks to combat the worst recession in more than 300 years.

"So our immediate priority is to protect people's lives and livelihoods", added the chancellor of the exchequer.

The economy, which tanked into a historic recession owing to pandemic fallout, was forecast to rebound by 5.5 percent next year and by 6.6 percent in 2022.

The "long-term scarring" would mean that in 2025 the economy will be around 3% smaller than expected in March.

But Sunak on Sunday told Sky News the United Kingdom was under "enormous pressure and stress" and faced an "economic shock".

Wales has been betrayed on post European Union funding in a Spending Review that does not support a fair recovery across the UK."Mr Sunak's announcement on the review for spending across the UK included a freeze on public sector pay apart from NHS workers and the lowest paid".

But he pledged a "pay rise to over a million nurses, doctors, and others in the NHS", and that those earning under £24,000 per year would be guaranteed a pay rise of £250.

"During a domestic fiscal emergency, when we need to prioritise our limited resources on jobs and public services, sticking rigidly to spending 0.7% of our national income on overseas aid is hard to justify to the British people, especially when we are seeing the highest peacetime levels of borrowing on record", Sunak said in a speech to parliament.

Speaking in the House of Commons at lunchtime, Mr Sunak said: 'Coronavirus has deepened the disparity between public and private sector wages.

Mr Sunak said in that "difficult context" he could not justify "significant across the board" pay increases for all public sector workers.

The Government faced condemnation from charities and criticism from senior Tories about the move.

Rebecca Evans said the £1.3 billion funding increase for the Welsh Government for 2021/22 through the Barnett formula failed to support a "fair recovery" across the UK.On Wednesday, Ms Evans said in a tweet: "The Chancellor has made the wrong choices and broken promises today".

Sunak said the fiscal damage of the pandemic was "likely to be lasting" and cited figures from the OBR that predicted unemployment to peak at 7.5 percent, or 2.6 million people, in the second quarter of 2021.

A three-year program worth almost £3 billion will be established to help the long-term unemployed back into work.

Sunak said the cost of the fight against coronavirus was now 280 billion pounds this year, up from a previous estimate of about 200 billion pounds.

Next year some £55 billion was earmarked for public services dealing with the crisis, including an initial £18 billion for testing, personal protective equipment and vaccines.

Over this year and next, day-to-day departmental spending will rise, in real terms, by 3.8% - the rate in 15 years.

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