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Point of Order

Volume 697: debated on Tuesday 15 June 2021

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I would appreciate your guidance. A report by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact has found that there were value-for-money risks with the way that the Government cut the aid budget last year. As you are aware, Mr Speaker, the Government have cut the aid budget but have steadfastly refused to allow this House to properly scrutinise the cuts. They have also refused to answer questions about bilateral official development assistance to different countries, claiming that the aid budget has been allocated in accordance with the UK’s strategic priorities. We have seen today that they continue to refuse to give detail about where these cuts will fall. Many of them are already falling on the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, with cuts to the Rohingya of 40%, and to Yemen. But the Government have admitted that no impact assessments have been undertaken.

To improve policy making and ensure that the Government deliver for the British public, Parliament performs a vital role in our democracy by examining and challenging the work of the Government. Can you assist, Mr Speaker, in ensuring that Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Ministers detail which cuts to country budgets and programmes have already happened, where they think future cuts for this year are planned, and what is the projected impact on the world’s poorest people?

I thank the hon. Member for giving me notice of the point of order. The issue was raised at FCDO questions earlier. I do not want to prolong those questions now, and the hon. Member has quite rightly put the point on the record. I am sure that the Table Office will be able to advise if she wishes to pursue these issues; I am sure that she will do so and not let the matter end here.

I now suspend the House for three minutes to enable the necessary arrangements to be made for the next business.

Sitting suspended.