THE SNP has accused the UK Government of being ready to “abandon the world’s most vulnerable people” by cutting the foreign aid budget.
Boris Johnson’s Cabinet is proposing to axe a commitment to spend 0.7% of national income on supporting developing countries.
Chris Law, the SNP MP, hit out over the move as the Foreign Office takes over the Department for International Development today creating the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
He urged Johnson to rule out the cut to foreign aid.
Law, who is the SNP Shadow International Development Secretary, said: “It’s no secret that the Tories have long sought to siphon off the UK’s aid budget to further their own political efforts. First came the move to abolish DfID, now reports that the UK government may renege on its pledge and ditch its aid spending commitment.
“At this time, our efforts must be focused on tackling the virus and protecting people’s lives – that can only be done through a global effort and working with our international partners.”
He added: “This is a virus that does not recognise borders and any attempt to abandon the UK’s aid commitments would do nothing less than undermine efforts to tackle the virus effectively. It would also abandon some of the world’s most vulnerable people at this critical time.”
The plans to cut foreign aid emerged over the weekend as part of Treasury proposals for a £30bn raid on the aid budget as well as on the wealthy, businesses and pensions to plug a hole in the nation’s finances caused by the coronavirus crisis.
A source told the Sunday Times: “Foreign aid is being looked at as well.”