British finance minister Jeremy Hunt said on Thursday it would not be possible to restore the aid budget to 0.7 per cent of gross national income from its current level of 0.5 per cent, adding that public spending would grow more slowly than the economy.
Addressing parliament as he unveiled the government’s autumn spending review, Hunt said just over half of the needed 55 billion pound ($65.21 billion) fiscal consolidation would come from cuts in spending.
“It won’t be possible to return to the 0.7 per cent target until the fiscal situation allows. We remain fully committed to that target,” Hunt said.
This comes a week after British watchdog Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) launched a review into how the country’s foreign aid budget is spent as poverty-fighting cash is increasingly channelled away from overseas projects to fund domestic initiatives.
Planning to publish its findings in early 2023, the ICAI said a growing portion of funds that would normally be spent in poorer nations was being used to support refugees in Britain - a shift that has drawn criticism across the political spectrum.
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