The economic impact of coronavirus is due to blow a £2.5 billion hole in the aid budget this year, Commons Library research commissioned by Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran has revealed.
It comes after Boris Johnson confirmed today that the Development for International Development will be merged with the Foreign Office, which Layla Moran described as "a thinly veiled gift to the Tory right-wing that the poorest and most vulnerable in the world will pay the price for."
Research commissioned by Layla Moran MP from the House of Commons Library reveals that if the economy shrinks by around 13%, as predicted by the Office for Budgetary Responsibility, the aid budget for 2020 could shrink from an initial forecast of £15.8 billion to £13.3 billion this year. This would be a fall of around £2.5 billion.
Layla Moran MP is calling for aid spending to be protected through a “double lock”, that would ensure it is set at 0.7% of GDP or remains in line with current spending levels, whichever is higher. This would ensure vital support for countries battling the coronavirus is maintained.
Layla Moran said: "This decision is a thinly veiled gift to the Tory right-wing, and the poorest and most vulnerable in the world will pay the price for it.
“The coronavirus pandemic already threatens to reverse decades of global progress, with millions of people at risk of being pushed back into extreme poverty.
“Britain should be showing global leadership at this time by protecting aid spending, rather than politicising it.”