Today, as the new Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening addresses the Conservative Party Conference, a new poll shows the majority (61%) of UK adults agree with next year’s planned increased spending on overseas aid.
When asked for views on next year’s planned spending on aid, two in five (41%) think that the Government’s plan to spend 1.6 pence in every pound of government spending on international aid is about right, and one in five (20%) even think that this rate is too low. Only a third of people (34%) think that it is too high.
The research commissioned by ONE and conducted by ComRes, shows that 63% of people over estimate the amount the UK plans to spend on international aid next year. Nearly half (46%) think that the UK plans to spend more than three times what it will actually spend on overseas aid. 1 in 5 people (22%) think the government is planning to spend more than 20% of its national spending budget on international aid.
Adrian Lovett, Europe Executive Director of ONE, said:
Justine Greening may have a tough time today to convince some, but this poll shows the majority of the British public are behind her and support the international aid budget.
People routinely over-estimate how much we spend on international aid and under-estimate the results. Our aid budget is little more than a penny in every pound of government spending. In the next four years this will put 15 million children in school, provide over 80 million children with vaccines against life-threatening diseases and help more than 44 million people participate in freer and fairer elections.
Our aid is making a difference, and we should work to make it better still. The UK aid budget is saving lives around the world and is helping countries like Ghana plan for a future in which they don’t need aid. Now would be the worst possible time to cut back.
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