THERESA May will today launch a fierce defence of Britain’s £14 billion aid budget – defying a growing clamour for the cash to spent back home.
Making a speech at a conference on Jordan in London today the PM will vow to continue spending 0.7 per cent of national income on foreign aid.
She will tell Arab leaders and financiers at the conference: “We have been and will continue to be a global champion in this area, spending our aid programme innovatively and in a way that delivers value for money for the UK taxpayer.”
Her staunch defence of the controversial aid budget comes despite growing calls to divert some of the money to cash-strapped departments in this year’s Spending Review to end years of austerity.
The foreign aid budget and the Department for International Development budgets were ring-fenced while others were raided to help slash the government deficit.
And International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt has vowed to change international rules on aid spending in order to save taxpayers money.
Mrs May will use her speech at the Jordan conference today to announce that the UK will underwrite a £188million World Bank loan to Jordan to help the country borrow money at a lower rate and manage its national debt.
Britain will also contribute to a global finance initiative supporting small and medium-sized enterprises to help banks give more loans to Jordanian entrepreneurs, and provide trade experts to advise Jordanian companies looking to invest in the UK.
And the UK is expected to contribute £14 million to a new World Bank-led trust fund for Jordan to be spent on modernising government systems and promoting exports.