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 refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer that I gave a moment ago. These are two different things, and I think many Opposition Members are confusing them. One reason why we are in the 0.7% club is that we do not mark our own homework; someone else does. That should provide some reassurance to people that we are not doing something that we are saying we are.

There is a difference when it comes to what a private company, entirely separate from Government, chooses to do—and what we are trying to encourage them to do: do some good in the world by investing in the developing nations that need investment and get a great return on their investment. There is a separate issue about what we do with public funds, which count towards the ODA spend. We are not talking about using private funds to replace that.

In terms of the Development Assistance Committee rules, we are talking about looking at how we count ODA, and about ensuring that when we get returns back we have more flexibility on what we do with them. We could spend more money on development or we could retain our 0.7% commitment and spend some of those returns on the national health service.