Department for International Development

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:41 pm on 1st July 2019.

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Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Conservative, Tewkesbury 4:41 pm, 1st July 2019

It is right that we do scrutinise things and that we do demand transparency, but it is also right that we put things in perspective as well. I certainly agree with the hon. Member for Huddersfield.

I want to try to draw my remarks to a close, because, presumably, lots of hon. and right hon. Members wish to speak. In summary, I want to see an increase in the amounts going to the least developed countries and an increase in transparency, certainly in non-DFID and multilateral spending. I also want us to have a bit more control over, and understanding of, where the multi- lateral aid actually goes. We need to be aware that when we leave the European Union—and I will say “when”—we will get something like 10% of our budget back. We then have to decide where that goes. I am sure that there is no shortage of places or projects for which we want to provide.

In conclusion, I am very proud of our aid budget and of the fact that we have saved and transformed so many lives. The suggestions that I have made and the queries that I have raised today in no way challenge my commitment to our aid budget, but I want to make sure that we help even more people even more effectively than we already are. Most people want to see the United Kingdom, one of the richest countries in the world, helping the poorest people in the world, but they do have a right to make sure that their hard-earned money—it is not our money, it is theirs—actually goes to the people who need it the most. Much of it already does, but I think that all of it needs to do so. Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker, for allowing me to speak in this debate.