This afternoon the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the UK will be cutting the aid budget from 0.7% of spending to 0.5%. This followed last week’s announcement of a 10% increase in military spending.
Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said: “This is a terrible decision. It sends entirely the wrong message. It will be felt by many people in desperate situations, and could have dire consequences. Nobody can eat a gun. It suggests that ‘Global Britain’ will continue down the same path of pursuing an aggressive and militaristic foreign policy while building ever-closer political and military relationships with human rights abusers, regardless of the consequences.
COVID has shown how interconnected our lives are. It should have led to a rethink in security policy and a focus on the biggest threats that face us, such as global inequality, climate change and pandemics. Our security is not advanced by throwing money at the military. It is strengthened by building fairer societies that support the most vulnerable, and by investing in our public services.”