Dominic RAB says the UK needs help to legislate to reduce aid spending

The Foreign Secretary has decided that the uncertainty of the current financial year means that the government will have to cut the budget, the government may be forced to miss the promise to spend 0.7% on the total national income with foreign aid for more than a year.

The law will be enacted, Dominic RAB told lawmakers in an oral statement, but did not give a date for doing so.

Robb said the government would face legal challenges before speaking to lawmakers: “We have taken legal advice in this regard. It is very clear that the law will be needed if we do not see any way behind 0.7% in the near future. “

He added that the government’s proposals did not meet the limited contempt allowed in the law to inadvertently lose the 0.7% target.

Tory backbench lawmakers resisted the plans, with Tom Tugenhat, chairman of the select committee on foreign affairs, proposing that ministers put a sunset clause in the new law to provide a cut-off date that would achieve the 0.7% target.

The need to pass new legislation could allow Tory MPs to mount a revolt, and the government has been forced to back down from a 0.5% cut in the gross national income (GNI) aid budget set by Chancellor Ishii Sunak. Wednesday Expenditure Review.

The cuts mean the aid budget will be reduced by about a third next year to the next 10 billion b The plan has raised concerns among former prime ministers, aid groups and Tory MPs who have expressed concern that the UK’s reputation as a global player could be threatened Will take over the presidency and host the UN Climate Crisis Summit.

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Rob told MPs: “The International Development (Official Development Assistant Target) Act 2015 covers the issue of meeting the target of 0.7% of the law, especially in the context of economic pressures in which the target cannot be met. ”

He added: “When the situation in the current financial year improves sufficiently and we then need to adopt a plan, we cannot predict with certainty at this moment that we will legislate properly.”

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today program on Thursday, Sunak emphasized the existing law, which included the 0. %% target passed in 2015, allowing ministers to temporarily pass the target. However, the law would allow ministers to miss the 0.7% target for one year only

He said: “It may not be possible to meet the aid targets, especially for the truth that we have in place for the aid target, and it is as it is in the existing law.”

The Act claims that if the Secretary of State fails to achieve the 0.7% target, he or she must explain to Parliament why the target has not been met, and if relevant, refers to any change in the economic situation and gross national income, especially the financial situation and The potential impact of meeting the targets on taxes, public spending and orrons.

The foreign secretary will then have to decide what steps they will take to meet the target next year. The BBC’s Sunak declined to set a date by which the target would be restored, saying only that the change was not permanent and that spending would rise 0.7% “when the financial situation allows”.

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Since the law requires a commitment to return to 0.7% within a year and ministers are unable to keep that promise, the law may need to be amended in 2015.

The law emphasizes that the minister’s accountability is entirely to parliament, shutting down some legal options, such as judicial review.

The RAB said the aid budget would be dedicated to climate crisis, cowardice, girls’ education and poverty alleviation. He did not specify how the aid budget would be cut.

Reflecting the support of the people who cut the aid, Sunak said: “We held an election yesterday to prioritize people’s jobs, public service and the country’s coroner virus. I think it’s a choice that the British people will support. “

Determining the key issues of press releases during the royal approval of the 2015 bill gives the idea of ​​a stronger responsibility than the word provisions of the law.

The then Department of International Development said: “The Act places a responsibility on the Secretary of State to ensure that the UK meets the 0.7% target set in 2015 and each subsequent calendar year.

The Secretary of State needs to make arrangements for an independent assessment of how much the UK ODA has [official development assistance] Presents value for money. The Secretary of State must include a statement in each annual report on how he or she has performed this duty. “

The RAB defended the measures, saying that every penny of public money spent on economic emergencies had to come under proper scrutiny.

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