Despite spending cuts at home the Government is committed to hand over 0.7% of national income in overseas aid, regardless of need. The Mail on Sunday believes voters do not want this and instead, we should provide money only for truly deserving causes, on a case-by-case basis.
A bill passed in 2015 required the Government to spend a fixed 0.7% of gross national income on foreign aid. UK handouts will rise from current £12bn to £16bn by 2020. This is by far the highest rate of any G20 nation and is leading to huge waste and corruption. We believe this is the wrong approach because it fuels waste by focussing on targets, not outcomes. Foreign aid should provide money for the job, not jobs for the money.
A number of newspaper articles have reported claims that misrepresent or inaccurately portray projects supported by the UK, or focus on projects that are no longer funded.
I am a long standing supporter of the Government's work on foreign aid and am pleased that the Prime Minister continues to commit 0.7% of GDP on foreign aid spending. I strongly believe we are right to stick to our commitments which helps deliver a more secure and prosperous UK.
I believe that in a globalised world, governments recognise that not all policy solutions can be found at home. To prevent crime, to curb waves of unfettered immigration, to stop the spread of disease, our efforts can be made more effective by concentrating on the source of an issue.
As a Foreign Office Minister, I have seen first-hand the tremendous work and relief that is brought to some of the poorest communities in the world by UK aid. Since 2010, steps have been taken to make our aid spending more accountable and focused, by reforming the UK's aid strategy, cutting wasteful programmes and making sure spending is firmly in the UK's national interest. I have been assured that the Government is determined to make sure that our aid is spent where it is most needed and all spending is rigorously checked as programmes progress.