Farage pledges to halve international aid while inheritance tax could go to charity

18 Jun 2024 News

Nigel Farage

Gage Skidmore/ via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0

Reform UK’s newly published manifesto has pledged to cut spending on overseas aid by half, claiming it would save £6bn. 

In the party’s manifesto called Our Contract with You, the party says it will “cut foreign aid by 50%” and that “a major review is needed into the effectiveness of overseas aid”. 

Nigel Farage began leading the party this month, with the general election set for July 4.

Bond, a charity which represents a network of over 400 non-governmental organisations, called the proposal “self-defeating and deeply damaging".

‘Deeply damaging’

Gideon Rabinowitz, director of policy and advocacy at Bond, said: “The Reform party’s proposal to cut the UK aid budget by 50% is self-defeating and deeply damaging.

“UK aid invests in long-term prosperity and wellbeing of low- and middle-income countries which helps to avoid crises and contributes to global security through trade, food security, pandemic safety, reduced conflict and climate change mitigation. 

“Previous UK aid cuts damaged the UK's reputation as a global partner and hurt the most marginalised communities. Abandoning our international commitments further harms our relationships with other countries and would affect millions of people living in poverty globally.” 

Rabinowitz said that any incoming government should commit to returning the aid budget back to 0.7% of gross national income (GNI). 

Reform UK says its aid pledge would save £6bn from the “£12.8bn budget” (which was the amount of official development assistance (ODA) spent by the UK in 2022). 

This was 0.5% of GNI, which was lowered from 0.7% in response to the pandemic in 2020 and has not been restored.  

According to government figures, in 2023 the UK spent £15.4bn on ODA, and over a quarter (28%) of the total spend was on supporting refugees in the UK. 

Inheritance tax could be donated to charity

Reform UK has also said that if it gets into government at the next election, it will abolish inheritance tax for all estates under £2m. 

Those above £2m will incur an inheritance tax of 20% and would have the option of donating it to charity. 

In terms of benefits, the party has said that job-seekers seeking employment must find a job within four months or accept a job after two offers, or their benefits will be withdrawn. 


Farage’s party has said it has a four-point plan to “stop the boats” if it wins the general election. 

Its plan includes leaving the European Convention on Human Rights, allowing zero illegal immigrants to be resettled in the UK, and creating a new government department for immigration. 

The manifesto reads: “Pick up illegal migrants out of boats and take them back to France.”

In its section on social security, Reform says people must have five years of residency and employment in the UK to claim any benefits.

No VAT on private school fees

The party has also committed to tax relief on all independent education as well as maintaining VAT exemption on fees. 

The manifesto says that parents should be encouraged to choose independent schools as this will “significantly ease pressure on state schools and improve education for all”. 

As education is a devolved matter, this would only apply in England. 

Meanwhile, the Labour Party has pledged to remove VAT exemption from private schools and invest this into state schools. 

The Green Party pledged to remove charitable status from private schools if it were to win the general election on 4 July. 

It also said it would increase spending on the international aid budget to 1% of GNI, above the previous 0.7% level, by 2033. 

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