The Secretary of State for International Development has revealed plans to reform how the aid budget is spent, but said she will honour the commitment on how much is given.
Writing today in the Daily Mail, which has campaigned against current spending on international development aid, Priti Patel said she wants to focus on supporting trade and “creating jobs in poorer countries”.
Patel has previously been criticial of the introduction of a bill to enshrine the target of spending 0.7 per cent of national income on international development aid.
“We will honour the commitments that we have made on development in our manifesto,” she said today. “But let me be clear. A well-financed aid budget is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Its purpose is not to make us feel good about ourselves.”
She also indicated that greater transparency of those delivering aid was likely to be high on her agenda.
She said: “My predecessors in government have made huge progress in improving British aid, creating an independent aid watchdog to scrutinise spending, introducing much tougher value for money controls, and making DfID’s spending far more open and transparent.
“Now I want to build on their achievements and go even further, for example by insisting on much greater transparency from those who receive UK aid, so that we can all see whether money is actually making it through to those who need it.”