Derek Thomas welcomes the five pledges announced by International Development Minister Penny Mordaunt

West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas says he fully backs the Government’s commitment to enhancing the UK’s role as a global leader in international development.

In response to concerns that the 0.7% commitment to overseas aid by the British Government is not always good value for money and should instead be channelled towards other priorities, International Development Minister Penny Mordaunt has announced a five-pledge plan.

The five pledges are designed to show that UK taxpayers’ money is not just “well spent” but that “it cannot be better spent”.

Among the pledges, the Minister promises to develop a new plan to boost trade and investment with developing countries post-Brexit, to work with the governments of developing countries to ensure they take responsibility for investing in their own people and to be prepared to cut  funding for poor performing governments and multi-national organisations receiving UK funds.

“I have always been of the opinion that our commitment to spending 0.7% of our GDP on overseas aid is money well spent,” said Mr Thomas.

“Britain’s security and prosperity depend upon international development and our commitment is the only way we can help to tackle global challenges like disease, mass migration and conflict which pay no attention to national borders.

“However I do understand that some people have doubts about whether the money we are committing is money which could better be diverted elsewhere, especially when there are domestic priorities such as the NHS to address.

“So I welcome the Minister’s five pledges and her undertaking to reassure people that our aid budget will be hard-headed and spent firmly in the national interest.

“We are a generous and open-minded nation and our aid spend will help to create self-sufficient communities and the UK’s trading partners of the future.”