Monday, November 08, 2010

Britain Slashes Budget, Increases Foreign Aid

A few months ago, the United Kingdom announced major governmental cuts in an effort to stem runaway spending and its expanding deficit. Currently, the annual deficit approximately 10.4% of its economic power, a number that by all accounts is completely unsustainable. As such, most departments are expected to reduce their budgets by 20-25% over the next four years, amounting to budget reductions that have not seen since the tenure of Margaret Thatcher.

While historically foreign aid is typically the first budget to get reduced in a time of fiscal uncertainty, the United Kingdom has made the difficult and admirable decision to not only exempt the Department for International Development (DFID) from budget reductions but to increase funding by 32%! By 2013, the UK will be committing .7% of its GNI and as such meet its goal pledged at the 2000 UN Millennium Summit.

We at The Borgen Project commend the United Kingdom for making developmental assistance a priority as it makes difficult decisions regarding its budget. Through this, the United Kingdom demonstrates that foreign aid is essential to its national and long term interests.

This is encouraging news as we, on the other side of the pond, are also facing important and difficult decisions concerning our budget. If the United Kingdom can place a high priority on its developmental assistance, so can the United States.

-Corey Cox

The Faster Times