25 November 2020
The President and Vice-President react to cuts to the foreign aid budget
Following the announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer today that the foreign aid budget will be cut from 0.7% of national income to 0.5%, the President and Vice-President of the Conference have made the following statements:
The Revd Richard Teal, President of the Conference of the Methodist Church in Britain, said:
To go back on our promises to the world’s poorest people would be short-sighted, unprincipled and wrong. The UK has a global reputation for the quality of its international development work. The government has just announced a big increase in spending on defence. In the light of this it is counter-productive to cut the vital aid that helps to build more stable communities and open societies. We are also recognised for our determined support of the international 0.7% target. This huge cut reneges on a commitment that we have made internationally. It is a commitment that our churches have welcomed on many occasions and one that we want to see maintained.
Carolyn Lawrence, Vice-President of the Conference of the Methodist Church in Britain, said:
Our aid programme is vital and effective. It supports education, helps people to escape from chronic poverty and provides women with the opportunities to overcome entrenched discrimination. The Methodist Church in Britain’s partners in various parts of the world have direct experience of the value of UK aid and the good that it has brought to their communities. A cut in funding will inevitably undermine vital support to programmes at a time when people are particularly vulnerable. We urge MPs to resist this cut and appeal to the government to think again.