Aid Budget

Oral Answers to Questions — International Development – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th September 2016.

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Photo of Scott Mann Scott Mann Conservative, North Cornwall 12:00 am, 14th September 2016

What steps her Department is taking to ensure that its funding goes to legitimate causes.

Photo of James Wharton James Wharton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development

DFID is engaged in tackling some of the great global challenges of our time. The Department has in place rigorous systems and processes to ensure that the money we spend gets to those for whom it is intended.

Photo of Scott Mann Scott Mann Conservative, North Cornwall

Does the Minister agree that UK taxpayers need to be considered at every single step of the way when it comes to our aid spending?

Photo of James Wharton James Wharton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development

I absolutely agree with my hon. Friend. He is absolutely right. He may have seen the words of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State in the Daily Mail only today setting out her vision for the future direction of the Department’s spending. We need rigorous accountability. We need proper business cases. We need a clear sense of what we want to achieve. That is exactly what this ministerial team will bring and what this Government will deliver.

Photo of Catherine McKinnell Catherine McKinnell Labour, Newcastle upon Tyne North

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is on track to save 22 million lives by the end of 2016. Can the Secretary of State confirm whether the UK will pledge the £1.2 billion called for at the Replenishment conference? How will she ensure that Britain’s contribution will retain its value in light of the pound’s post-Brexit fall against the dollar?

Photo of James Wharton James Wharton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development

The UK has been a key contributor to the global health fund, which has made a real difference. I met only yesterday the chairs of the all-party groups on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria to discuss the contribution the UK intends to make. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will be making an announcement in Montreal in the coming days to set out just what the UK will be doing.

Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab Conservative, Esher and Walton

I welcome the Secretary of State’s refreshing approach. May I urge her and her ministerial colleagues to revise the criteria for bilateral aid, so that countries refusing point-blank to accept foreign national offenders deported from the UK do not receive millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money?

Photo of James Wharton James Wharton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development

As always, my hon. Friend has an eye for value for money in the interests of the British taxpayer. We are, of course, looking at what DFID does. DFID delivers a huge amount of difference: it changes lives and helps people across the globe. We want to ensure that every penny we spend is spent wisely. The comments he makes are very important, as part of that debate and discussion.

Photo of Nigel Dodds Nigel Dodds Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Reform and Constitutional Issues), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs), DUP Westminster Leader

There are grave concerns about the Palestinian Authority continuing to pay reward payments to convicted terrorists and the possible misappropriation of international aid from the UK to the Palestinian Authority. Will the Minister look carefully at that once again in light of the grave concerns that are being expressed?

Photo of James Wharton James Wharton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development

It is vital that the money that UK taxpayers spend on aid is spent on the right things and the right priorities. Where concerns are raised, they will of course be looked into in detail. If there are issues found to be arising, they will be addressed and tackled. The UK also believes in its commitment to helping the poorest in the world. Every penny spent on the purposes for which it is intended is a penny well spent. Any penny that goes missing is a life that may go unsaved.