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ONE Responds to Budget / CSR: Lack of detail for UK aid

Today the Chancellor presented the budget for 2021 and the Comprehensive Spending Review for the coming years. There was a stark lack of specifics for what the Government’s spending plans mean for UK aid over the coming years, as key details on if vaccines and SDRs would be included in the 0.5% target, or what the departmental allocation for ODA, were not given.

Amy Dodd, Director of Development Finance Policy, said: “There are serious question marks around what this budget and spending review means for UK aid. This lack of clarity given is disappointing and strengthens concerns that the Chancellor is using accounting trickery to make further cuts.

“This would further squeeze spending on lifesaving programmes by including things that were not originally in the lower 0.5% target. Having already shrunk the UK’s support for development, implementing further cuts by stealth would exacerbate the challenges of climate and Covid already faced by developing countries.

“It’s good to hear the Chancellor intends to honour his promise to return to 0.7% in 2024/5 but it will come after years of swingeing cuts that hit precisely when developing countries most needed support to fight the economic crisis and the pandemic. If Government is serious about tackling global challenges, as it should be on the eve of G20 and COP26, it should commit to returning to 0.7 now, as the UK economy bounces back to pre-covid levels and when it is most critically needed”