UK Foreign Aid
Standing by our promise for foreign aid spending
Government "Compromise" Vote on Aid Reduction
I regret not being on the side with most votes when the reduction was put to the House.
It is unsatisfactory to me to have the obligations of an Act of Parliament set aside by a short notice debate in one of the Houses of Parliament.
Some never supported official aid programmes. We do not have to agree on everything but we should agree on what is right and on what is just.
We 'proudly' stood by the promise at the last election. That was right.
Aid, well-directed, makes a great deal of difference in our own nation's interests as well as of those of the countries around the world that we are helping. That is just.
There is some uncertainty as to whether a motion to spend 0.5% can override legislation for 0.7% without due process.
I put to the Prime Minister during PMQs whether the resumption of 0.7% could be achieved gradually and, as such, more realistically. A sudden jump back to 0.7% might seem daunting and, as such, unwanted. A gradual rise by 0.5% intervals would appear more manageable to those with concerns.
Cross-Party Campaign to Maintain Foreign Aid Budget
I am proud to be part of a cross-party group of MPs standing by our 2019 manifesto promise of 0.7% of our income going towards foreign aid.
We 'proudly' stood by the promise at the last election.
Aid, well-directed, makes a great deal of difference in our own nation's interests as well as of those of the countries around the world that we are helping.
The pandemic has hit us hard but we are on the road to recovery, both public health and economically but we can't be properly out of this pandemic until the rest of the world is too.
Short term, we need to extend the vaccine to the rest of the world. Long term, we must support the opportunity of stable governments, prosperous economies and open markets, with people being better off and better quality of lives for all.
The UK and Europe were put back on our feet by generous financial aid and help following the end of WW2. We need to do the same to the rest of the world when their governments' arrangements allow.
This reduction is not only unlawful, it is unethical too.
These cuts will hit the most vulnerable communities the hardest.
Let us unite in being proud to meet this commitment to international aid.
Response from Sir Peter to the Chancellor's Statement and Budget
After the Chancellor's Statement in November 2020, I made clear my strong support for continuing to meet our national commitment to providing 0.7% of our national income as official aid.
During an Urgent Question on reductions to the ODA budget in April 2021, I reinforced the view shared by many across the house and across the country. These cuts are unwarranted and dangerous.
Cuts in our target for the UN overseas aid will predominantly hit women and the most vulnerable communities around the world.
The point of a percentage rather than a fixed sum is that it ebs and flows in size dependent on our GDP. Flexibility is already present in legislation to ensure our aid budget is not beyond our capabilities.
I have committed to working with any colleagues across the house to challenge this ill-advised decision.
This continues through 2021.
We stood on a manifesto of protecting foreign aid spending.