UK to return to previous foreign aid spending levels by 2024/25 – Sunak

Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak carries the budget box outside Downing Street in London, Britain, October 27, 2021. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s spending on foreign aid will return to 0.7% of economic output by 2024/25, finance minister Rishi Sunak said on Wednesday, having previously temporarily ditched that target due to pressure on the public finances.

The details of the spending review, due to be published shortly, will provide further details on how the target will now be met.

The initial cut, which broke one of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s manifesto promises, was first announced in November as a measure to help pay for the COVID-19 pandemic. That prompted criticism from development agencies and a rebellion within the ruling Conservative Party.

The government nevertheless won a vote earlier this year in parliament to push ahead with the measure, and promised to restore aid spending to 0.7% as soon as it could.

Announcing the spending limits for departments over the coming years, Sunak also said every department would get a real-terms increase in spending.

The spending review increased total departmental spending over the next three years by 150 billion pounds ($206 billion), a 3.8% per year in real terms, he said.

($1 = 0.7272 pounds)

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