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Tuesday, 09 November 2010

UK Spending Plans Protect Development Spending

The UK coalition government announced its spending plans for the next four financial years (to 2014-15). These spending plans are subject to scrutiny and approval by Parliament, though the tradition in Britain is that the spending plans are usually approved without significant amendment. Overall, this spending review is a seismic political event, which will be talked about for many years to come. It will reduce planned spending by £81 billion ($130 billion) a year, and remove about half a million public sector workers from the government payroll. In that context, the coalition government’s decision to increase international development spending is remarkable. In cash terms, Britain’s official development assistance (ODA) will increase by 50% over the four years to 2014. Most of this will continue, as now, to be channelled through the UK Department for International Development (DFID), whose budget will increase by 47% in cash terms (37% after taking account of inflation).
The increase will occur mainly in 2013, when British aid will increase by a third from £9.1bn to £12.0 bn. To get a sense of the political priority that development has been given in this spending review, consider that the National Health Service will increase by just 1.3% in real terms over the same four years; and many government departments face reductions of 20% to 30%.

Source: Center for Global Development