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Spending watchdog supports our concerns on aid cuts – Sarah Champion MP

31 March 2022

The Chair of the International Development Committee, Sarah Champion MP, has welcomed a report by the UK spending watchdog, the National Audit Office (NAO), into the government’s 2021 cuts in overseas aid. The government cut the aid budget from 0.7% of gross national income to 0.5%. The NAO considered how the cuts took account of protecting value for money, how the decision was implemented and the impact of the cuts.

The Chair of the International Development Committee, Sarah Champion MP said:

“I welcome this important report. Its findings reinforce evidence received by my Committee on the devastating impact of the cuts to the UK aid budget as well as the confused decision-making that lay beneath them.

“As my Committee has heard, the sheer scale of the cuts meant that even some well-performing programmes had to be modified or stopped. Furthermore, the sheer speed of the decision to cut meant that consultation between the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and its partners implementing UK aid projects just didn’t happen. This created significant risks for value for money.

“With the Government’s new Development Strategy due imminently, I urge the FCDO to take on board the NAO’s recommendations from this important study. Not least to learn lessons from the brutal cuts of 2021, but also to commit to improving transparency in decision making about UK aid spending. The Government must use the report to focus on improving decisions about how UK aid can be best spent, focusing on helping the poorest people in the world and pursuing inclusive development that leaves no-one behind”.

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