OVERSEAS aid was shielded from yesterday’s cuts, though the department for international development (DfID)?will halt aid payments to China and Russia and reduce its administration costs to help bring the deficit down.
The department’s budget will rise to £11.6bn over four years to meet UN aid commitments, which will include spending £500m to help fight malaria. International climate finance will be £2.9bn over five years.
However, the government announced a commission on aid impact to examine the value for money of all the UK’s aid obligations.
Free market think-tank the Adam Smith Institute criticised the ring-fence, saying in a statement: “Why the chancellor thinks that the British taxpayer should fund the Indian space programme is unclear. At a time when the British government is cutting spending domestically it makes no sense to increase overseas aid spending.”