Government Overseas Aid Commitment: Private Investment

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:39 pm on 9th October 2018.

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Photo of Penny Mordaunt Penny Mordaunt The Secretary of State for International Development, Minister for Women and Equalities 4:39 pm, 9th October 2018

I thank the hon. Gentleman for those questions, but I think he is a little confused about what the 0.7% is. It is not possible to count private investment towards that figure, so a pension fund down the road cannot count towards that 0.7%, but public funds can. The Development Assistance Committee measures many things, including private sector investment, but the 0.7% is public money.

If a future Government wished to, they could spend more than 0.7%, and we are committed to spend at least that amount of money. They could do so by counting the returns that were made. At the moment, we are spending more than 0.7% because we cannot do anything other than that with these funds—they do not count towards the 0.7%. We need to get the balance right between our commitments in this agenda, which are world leading—we introduced them and we believe in them—and the demands we make of the British taxpayer. If in future years we can meet 0.7% without having to ask the British taxpayer for more money, that is an option we should explore.