UK Government’s Decision to Cut International Aid ‘Was Unlawful’

UK Government’s Decision to Cut International Aid ‘Was Unlawful’. Image: Wikimedia

THE UK government’s decision to cut international aid “was unlawful.”

According to one expert, the decision by the government in the UK to cut international was not lawful.

Lord Macdonald of River Glaven said new legislation would have been required to get rid of the government’s target of spending 0.7 per cent of international income on aid.

He made the claim in a formal legal opinion commissioned by Conservative MPs campaigning to reverse the spending cut.

The news comes after this month a leaked report showed that the UK government, headed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, planned to cut aid to some of the world’s poorest countries by up to two thirds.

Aid to Syria would be cut by 67 per cent, aid to Libya by 63 per cent, Somalia by 60 per cent and South Sudan by 59 per cent, according to the Foreign Office report obtained by the Open Democracy website.

Labour criticised the move, however a government spokesperson said further decisions on individual aid programmes were still to be made.

They said economic impact of the pandemic had forced the government to reduce how much it spent on international aid.

“We remain a world-leading aid donor and we will spend more than £10 (€1.16) billion this year to fight poverty, tackle climate change and improve global health.”

The economic damage done by the pandemic has led the government to cut its aid of 0.7 per cent of national income to 0.5 per cent.

The documents obtained by Open Democracy suggest the aid programme will be cut from £1.5 (€1.74) billion to £900 (€1,045) million.

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Written by

Sally Underwood

Sally Underwood is a former aide to several former cabinet members and now contributes her views on Parliament’s ever-changing shape in her column for the Euro Weekly News.