| 26 February 2024, Monday |

UK PM Sunak could freeze foreign aid for two more years

According to sources cited by the Telegraph on Friday, the new British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is considering keeping the nation’s foreign aid budget frozen for a further two years.

British foreign aid spending is limited to 0.5% of GDP. Since the country’s public finances had taken a significant hit as a result of the coronavirus pandemic two years prior, the government has reduced its spending on international aid.

By 2024–2025, according to Sunak, who was the finance minister at the time, foreign spending should revert to its previous level of 0.7% of GDP.

However, according to the Telegraph report, officials are considering extending the foreign aid spending cut by another two years to 2026-2027.

The report added there was scope for deeper cuts alongwith an option to peg foreign aid spending to inflation for three years in the future.

The report comes as the government draws up spending cuts and cancels tax cuts as the rising cost of mortgages, food, fuel and heating squeezes many household budgets.

UK’s Treasury department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

  • Reuters