02 Mar Leading article: A sensible redirection of effort, but risks lie ahead
It has been brave of the Coalition Government to stick to its election commitment to ring-fence Britain’s £8.4bn overseas aid budget at a time when public spending is being slashed so heavily. We should not balance our books at the expense of the most wretched people on the planet, especially when comparatively small amounts of money can save many lives in the developing world.
To fend off criticism from the Tory right, the International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, has launched a major review of how our money is spent. He clearly hopes that support for aid will be increased by demanding greater value for money, emphasising how aid helps our national interests and by focusing it on states where Britain has an interest in greater stability.